Edge Sharpening All Images Technique

by Allen Rockwell


In my post entitled "Digital Workflow of a Semi-Pro Part 2" I stated that after I get all my images into Aperture, that I "...select all the remaining images and apply the Edge Sharpen (CTL-S) command with the default settings..."

It's true that I Edge Sharpen all my images (because I shoot RAW and all RAW files need sharpening), but I failed to go into detail as to how exactly I do it. Here are the steps to Edge Sharpening (or applying any adjustment/adjustments) to all images in an album.

1. Select the first thumbnail in the album
2. Apply the adjustment(s) to that image
3. Click the Lift-Stamp tool
4. Click the adjusted image to "lift" the adjustments
5. Click on the second thumbnail in the album to "stamp" the adjustment(s) to that image
6. Scroll all the way to the end of the album and Shift-Click the last thumbnail to apply (stamp) the adjustment(s) to that image and every image in between that one and the second one in the album.

That's it, you're done, you've just applied an adjustment (or several) to all the images in the album.

Until next time,

Keep shooting.

Allen Rockwell
Allen Rockwell Photography


2006-11-10 13:28:02
If, after lifting and stamping the full album, you want to use the lift and stamp again over several of the images, does this remove the first lift and stamp adjustments?
I would imagine not, but I'd thought I'd ask anyway.
Allen Rockwell
2006-11-10 14:12:36
You can use the lift and stamp over and over to lift and stamp new adjusments. For example if you did the sharpening on all of your images and then later did an exposure adjustment you could lift and stamp only the exposure adjusment.

Also keep in mind that in the Lift and Stamp dialog you can uncheck items you do not want to copy to other images.

2006-11-14 16:47:04

Could you maybe elaborate on the pro's/con's of the edge sharpening process. I know there are loads of guides out there, but none when it comes to the way Aperture does it and how the photographer should approach it the Aperture way?

Allen Rockwell
2006-11-14 18:22:39

Basically edge sharpening does like the name implies, I searches out edges in a photo and sharpens them ... like the outline of a person, a facial feature, hair, lines on a vehicle, etc. Normal sharpening (also available in Aperture) sharpens everything. Now, sometimes this is a good thing and sometimes it's not. For example, if you take a photo of a person running and there is lots of sky and clouds in the background you would want to use Edge Sharpening. Using regular (global) sharpening in this case would cause the program to try to sharpen the sky and clouds and you would most likely end up with lots of digital noise in the sky area.

Now, if you photographed the same person running but you shot the photo from up high looking down at an angle at the runner and there is no sky or clouds in the photo, regular global sharpening might be a better choice.

The great thing about Aperture is that these edits are non-destructive. Try them both on a few different types of photos and see what results you get. You can always just uncheck the box next to the sharpening to undo what you've done. You can even try both techniques on the same image and see how they look separately and even together (there are times when both are good too).