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09-27-2010, 08:54 PM   #1
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making silhouettes sharper?



AV Mode. 55mm, f/5.6, iso 1250, 1/4000s. using kit 18-55 WR with K20D.

can the silhouette be made even sharper from in-camera?


Last edited by Reportage; 09-28-2010 at 08:13 AM.
09-28-2010, 08:35 AM   #2
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You must be talking about the edges, as silhouettes have no other detail to judge sharpness!

I would say aperture control and where you focus would be the deciding factors in getting silhouettes sharp. Perhaps the top bird was moving, so it's not going to be as sharp as a stationary object.
09-28-2010, 08:52 AM   #3
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if only it was possible to boost the shutter speed higher.

thanks for the reply.

Last edited by Reportage; 09-28-2010 at 09:00 AM.
09-28-2010, 09:49 AM   #4
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Yes, a higher shutter will freeze the bird, too.

10-05-2010, 06:37 AM   #5
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I'd say that the birds are plenty sharp... try sharpening in PP.

Other then that it would be a shutter speed issue,
10-05-2010, 11:45 AM   #6
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1/4000 is more than adaquate, but 1250 ISO is causing noise, which shows up most in shadow areas and is causing fuzzy edges. Try 400 ISO or lower. A lower f-stop number will also blurr the background more, making the object sharper, but focus become even more critical. 1/1000 should be plenty.
The white building provides too much contrast, so try framing the birds agains the blue sky.
10-05-2010, 01:35 PM   #7
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Try different USM settings in photoshop or elements (or equivalent): on the full size bitmap, these three in sequence often work: select a smallish % - say 40-60% to start with, and a sharpening radius of 4 to 6 or even more, with a pixel (I forget the term, it's the third control) of at least 20 so you won't be sharpening the grain/noise. Then do ~.8-1.2 at a slightly higher percentage... and finally .2 at 180% or so. Especially for the first two, check around to make sure you're not creating halos, if you are, back down on the %.

What this does: the first heightens local contrast, the second solidifies the edges, and the final puts the finishing touch on small detail.

Otherwise, ensure you are focused on the right thing with enough DOF to get the edges sharp (if the focus is on the 'front' end of a 3-d object, the 'side' you see in silhouette may already be slightly oof) and with enough speed to stop motion.
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