Digital Photography Hacks: Sharp and Flattering Images
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This brief tip will save you time when you have to find the sharpest image in a collection of files. Then be the rave of all your friends with these two quick tips to touch up photos and make the people in them better looking than in real life! (Hacks #47, 70, 16 from Digital Photography Hacks, by Derrick Story, O'Reilly Media, 2004, ISBN: 0596006667).
Judge Image Sharpness by File Size - Hack 47
With a series of photographs of the same subject in hand, you can judge which shot is sharper without ever opening a file.
Figuring out which photo in a series is the sharpest can be a laborious task. If you have five shots of the same subject, you typically open each in turn in the image editor, examine them all closely, and then make a judgment call as to which one is the keeper.
If you have to work quickly, this approach can be quite frustrating, not to mention time-consuming. Thereís got to be an easier way! And indeed there is.
You can make solid judgments about image sharpness without ever opening the file. Both Windows and Macintosh computers provide you with all the information you need by simply opening the folder that contains your pictures and viewing some of their basic data. Eyeballing sharpness is all a matter of sizeófile size, that is. The larger the file, the sharper the picture.
When youíre shooting in JPEG mode with your digital camera (which you usually are, unless you explicitly switch to TIFF or RAW), the files are compressed in the camera so that they donít take up too much room on your memory card. Fine, sharp detail is harder to compress than softer, duller images. So, the resulting file for a slightly sharper image will be a little bigger.
Under Windows, open the folder of images and choose the Details view, as shown in Figure 5-1. In the Size column, youíll see how big each image is. In this example, IMG_1005 and IMG_1006 are of the same subject, but IMG_ 1006 (1,803 KB) is a little sharper than IMG_1005 (1,775 KB). Windows enables you to preview the image in the Details box in the left column. All you have to do is click once on the filename, and the preview for that file appears. This makes it easy to make sure youíre comparing pictures of the same subject.
This process on Mac OS X isnít much different. Choose Column View, as shown in Figure 5-2, and click the image you want to examine. Finder will generate a thumbnail, along with the imageís file size and other details. Click another image to compare. Again, file size should inform you which shot in the series is sharper.
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