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Sharpening

Just as all digital images need spotting to touch up dust specks or other tiny imperfections, all digital images also need sharpening. The act of taking a scene from the real world and translating it into a mosaic of millions of tiny, square pixels will inevitably introduce some softening into an image. Images from high quality digital cameras typically are sharper than scans, but even they can often be greatly improved with some sharpening applied (Figure 11.1). Many cameras deal with this by applying a sharpening pass as the image is processed after the initial capture. Because sharpening permanently alters the contrast and color of pixels, and because you have little control over how the camera applies the sharpening, we recommend turning this feature off in the camera if at all possible. If you're shooting in the RAW format, then the camera doesn't apply sharpening, although it's common for RAW conversion programs to offer controls for applying a sharpening effect as the image is processed and converted from the RAW file.


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