Sharpening workflow

Posting rules: It shouldn't need saying, but... play nice. Please keep your discussions civil. You can disagree, just don't be disagreeable. And, of course, all of the usual stuff like no spamming. Tex adds: I'll be rigorously enforcing this as we go along. We're probably going to be a small community in a little lifeboat, so we can't have members at each others' throats. This is for the sake of the project as a whole. So when you post, pretend you're speaking in person with your very wealthy auntie who has always treated you wonderfully and currently lists you prominently in her will. I won't be tossing anyone out of the forums because we are all in this together (except spammers: immediate membership cancelation), but I'll delete suspect posts right away.

18 posts / 0 new
Last post
Sharpening workflow

As I come from Lightroom I liked the option with alt key to see how the sharpening and his masks work. In the last days I found Lightzone and was firstly a bit bored about the less features of sharpening, but hey...

I tried it again in a late night session yesterday and found a way to emulate that a bit.

- drop a Sharpen Tool into your picture chain
- dont change the settings so far
- zoom into the picture to your area you want to primary sharpen (on my canon 60D RAW pics, I have to zoom in 3-4 steps)
- now set the Blending Mode in Tool Setings to "Difference". You will see a blank black picture now.
- now we can start to change the Radius
- after that change the Threshold
- set the Blending Mode back to Normal (also good modes are, lighten, darken, shadows (dramatic look), mid+hightlights and mitones)

the german article including pictures are available on my website:


Nicely done!  I will try this

Nicely done!  I will try this myself.  Looks like something we could automate in the future, maybe?  In another post I mentioned that we will be trying to recruit some new developers, and that I had an idea about that.  This is the sort of thing that would fit in with my idea for the sort of people I (as a non-coder) would be able to recruit---using features we already have, repackaging them, and getting a new tool or functionality.

I saw your other post on "Wish List", and , yes, there are some things there that have long been on the list of desired improvements.

Keep us posted about your website, please.  There is a French LightZone website that was very good (it's a bit outdated now, and the webmaster/creator is doing some other things now, including family...).  We would like to be able to point users to sites in their native languages.

Its not exactly the same

Its not exactly the same effekt like in lightroom. I think in lightroom it looks more like a mix between solarisation and this effekt or maybe a solarisation with high contrast and without colors I tried to emulate the lightroom effekt in photoshop, to see how it works)

But im not a coder =)

And yes, thanks. I'll try to make some more and other features and tutorials in the next time. I like the programm. And yes (2), feel free to recruit me, also for beta testing if needed. :D

I'd say not to just "copy"

I'd say not to just "copy" Lightroom, after all Lightzone is pretty different.


That's a neat trick Hofnaar. Another mode useful for applying sharpening is Overlay, pretty dramatic results.

Very useful tip !

I read your article, its awesome! Thanks for that! Serge (Strossburrier Wackes) ;-)

glad to hear that.

glad to hear that.

I hope I will find the time to make the video for youtube too in the next couple of days. :P

I have made that video in

I have made that video in german language


good night =) (4am in the morning here in berlin germany :P )

Fine tutorial.

Fine tutorial.


German language or more precisely "auf Berlinerisch". ;-)



yes its berlin slang hehe,

yes its berlin slang hehe, cause Im a prussian and born in berlin mitte =)


I have looked at it, it's effective!

Any Similar Tip for Noise Reduction?

This is a good tip!  I was doing it with the color mask tab before reading this.  Now I can combine the two techniques.  It would be great if I could select difference for noise reduction but it doesn't seem to work the same.


For noise reduction I use the color mask tab.  For example, if I want to reduce the noise of a blue sky I click the noise reduction tool, click on color selection and then click the blue sky as my selection.  It will then leave the subject (Bald Eagle in flight) untouched.  It's much faster then selecting regions for me.



another great tip thank you.

another great tip thank you. may I will make a new video for this quick tip =)

If you are going to mention

If you are going to mention colour selections ...


Luminosity selections are also very useful and the Color Mask tab can be a great help when using either colour or luminosity (or both) to identify what one wishes to process.







Yes, flexibility

is the beauty of LZ IMO.  The "Smart Sharpening" techniques make it one of the best I've used, isolating exactly what I want to sharpen and not creating uneccessary artifacts or noise in doing so.



Relight: similar sharpening workflow can be achieved

If you set Shadow = 1, Highlights = 0 and Detail = 1 then you come to the state where no influence is taken to the picture.

From that point you can turn on blending mode Differene. Adjust Detail and Depth to see their sharpening interplay.


Fuzz too?

It appears that the Fuzz slider has an affect when using this technique as well.  It's still hard for me to determine exactly what Depth and Fuz are doing but typically I turn Depth down to small/medium numbers for my liking.  I'm evn less certain what Fuzz is doing.


Thanks for a new technique to play with!



I think fuzz just act on very

I think fuzz just act on very contrasted zone (typically, the borders of a windows shooted inside with highlights outside).

A high fuzz value, make more neat borders between light and dark.

I think fuzz act in correlation with the amount of detail slider, but I'm not sure "how", and probably the fuzz act differently between Polarizer and Relight.

depends on the picture you

depends on the picture you edit, but thanks will try that out as well :-)