BEST Way to Sharpen Your Photos

In this video, I wanna share with you The Best Way to Sharpen Your Photos in Capture One, especially the Fujifilm X raw files (RAF files). In this video, My approach to sharpening Fuji files with Capture One, from start to finish. A deep-dive look into how we can sharpen and create better photographs.

BEST Way to Sharpen Your Photos
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In this tutorial, I’ll use Capture One, which is in my opinion, an amazing piece of software, and I regularly use it with many of my landscape images. It’s brilliant how it can process the Fuji files.
What I’m using is the Pro version, but you can find many of the same features in the free Express version to put the Capture One sauce into your raw photos. So, if you’ve never tried Capture One I put the link here in the description below where you can download it and give it a try for free. Just to be clear, full disclosure, I’m not in any way affiliated with Capture One and all opinions shared here are my own.
Just one more thing, in this video I’m not gonna make any disquisition on which one is the best software for the Fujifilm files, the evergreen debate Capture One vs Lightroom… Nope! You know, my philosophy about software is very personal and not entrenched in the same old debate on the web. I’ll try to get more in-depth about that, maybe in a future video.

Alright! Almost every week I receive a lot of messages via text or email on what’s the best raw converter for Fujifilm files, which software has the best sharpening algorithm, how can I avoid the worm effect issue, and so on.

Well, I believe in general there is a huge misunderstanding about sharpening. Actually, we can split our sharpening workflow into three different segments:

  • the input sharpening
  • the creative sharpening
  • the output sharpening

Input Sharpening: it’s the foundational sharpening and this step is referred to as camera raw input sharpening. It’s really important to ensure a strong foundation to start with. 

Creative sharpening: sometimes you need to emphasize even more some specific areas of the image, a specialized sharpening using local adjustments is very powerful.

Output sharpening: at the end of our overall workflow we must apply some output sharpening, which relates to the way that we’re going to output our final photograph.

THE BEST Way to Sharpen Your Photos in Capture One - My Entire Workflow

andrea livieri recent work lofoten islands reine fujifilm BEST Way to Sharpen Your Photos
andrea livieri recent work lofoten islands fujifilm BEST Way to Sharpen Your Photos

Capture One has a wonderful interface and is highly customizable. It’s essentially divided into four different areas. By default, the Tool tabs with tools are to the left, but because I also use Adobe Lightroom, I rearranged the toolbar positioning to the right (Top menu → View → Customize Tools). Then we have the viewer in the center, the browser to the left (by default on the right), and the toolbar at the top, which also contains the cursor tools.
I’ve also modified some of the basic keyboard shortcuts based on my preferences based on my gestures and habits.

The tools are divided into tool tabs for different categories of tools. These are the ones we’re interested in. The exposure tab contains tools for adjusting exposure, brightness, and contrast. With the little magnifying glass icon the details tab include s sharpening and noise reduction tools. The output tab is where you can create and adjust process recipes for exporting to your final formats like TIFF, PSD and JPG.

I’m gonna start our conversation about how we can use the Capture One sharpening controls in order to improve our photographs; my goal is to help you to really understand how these different controls work. Once we’ve gone through how the different controls actually affect a photograph, we’ll then take what we’ve learned and apply it to different scenarios.

Something we have to keep in mind is …the way that we process a photograph it’s very important; well, that will affect the amount and the intensity of the sharpening or noise reduction which we’ll apply.

Yes, that’s right. Noise reduction. The noise reduction control works in tandem with the sharpening, and in a moment I will show you why.

Okay, before we go to the sharpening panel, we need to go through the normal ordinary workflow; so, before to do that, I’m gonna drag to zero all these sliders: Amount, Radius, Threshold, and also Luminance, Details and Color. Capture One adds a specific sharpening amount according to the camera model used, and this step is actually intended to counteract the inherent softness of digital capture, including anti-aliasing, diffraction, and the subsequent interpolation or demosaicing process in Capture One.

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