There are a number of ways you can sharpen photos using Luminar 3, and each sharpening filter will approach the task in a slightly different way. Here we’ll look at my own two personal favourites, the Detail Enhancer and Sharpening Filter.
To get started first add a new adjustment layer. Sharpening should be done after your initial Raw adjustments so always create a new layer to preserve your primary tweaks. To create a new layer, click the + icon next in the Layers panel.
The Details Enhancer
The Details Enhancer is a very useful tool when sharpening your images because of the array of options it provides you with. You can adjust the fine, medium, and large details of an image independently, as well as control your masking and protect your highlights. If used properly you can make your photos look nice and crisp with none of the extra artefacts that you often associate with image sharpening. All sliders, when set to 0, mean the effect is not applied. When you start to move the slider to the right it will intensify the result of the selected detail. If you move it to the left it will lessen the effect.
When you open the Details Enhancer you will see the following options:
Small Details – This sets sharpness of fine details. You should notice the clarity difference if you zoom in to your image.
Medium Details – This option sets medium-sized parts sharpness.
Large Details – Use this selection to set sharpness of global contours of objects in the image. Highlights Protection – This slider ensures that the brightest areas of your photograph are protected not over-processed
Masking – The Masking slider controls the area of detail that’s affected by your sharpening adjustments. When moving the slider to the left, the number of zones increases and the image becomes more detailed. When moving to the right, the number of granularity zones is reduced. Unfortunately, there is no way to see a projected outline of the mask adjustment so you’ll have to zoom in again and play around with the filter until you get your desired effect.
The Sharpening Filter
If you’re used to using more conventional editing software, Luminar’s Sharpening filter is probably the most straightforward way for you to sharpen your photos. It’s slightly more basic than other options, but can still achieve great results. It’s certainly a good filter to get started with and help get to grips with standard sharpening adjustments.
You should note that these adjustment all work hand-in-hand and adapting one will impact the others. Setting any slider too high can lead to notable colour and contrast distortion. The more natural you want your photo, the less you should dial them up.
The options displayed on the filter are:
Amount – A basic ‘one size fits all’ sharpening adjustment. This slider determines the degree of the overall effect on your image
Radius – Controls the size of the area around each affected point you want to sharpen. The smaller the radius, the smaller the scale of detail is affected
Masking – This gives you control of which areas are adjusted working much like the masking option we discussed earlier in the Details Enhancer section.