#AskScottWyden Frequency Separation Sharpening For Landscapes

#AskScottWyden Frequency Separation Sharpening For LandscapesToday’s question came from Jayant, who is a regular contribute to Seven By Five.

This question was one that I almost skipped over, but something kept pushing me to answer it.  The fact that Jayant was asking about a technique commonly used for portrait photography, but for use with landscapes.

I had to address it, and share a technique that Ansel Adams used and one that my good friend Blake has converted into a digital methodology.

Hey Scott,

Can you explain two things simply for me?  Frequency separation sharpening for landscapes.  While I am familiar with using Frequency Separation for portrait retouching, I am trying to figure out if by first separating high and low frequencies, I can sharpen selected areas of a landscape without adding HF noise.

Thanks, Jayant

That’s a great question. However, being that there are numerous tutorials on the Internet about this subject, I would rather not rewrite or restate what’s already out there. So instead I will link you to three awesome articles from:

I do want to mention something else, though.  The Frequency Separation technique may not be what is best for landscape photography. A different, more recognizable approach, would be using the zone system.  That is something that Ansel Adams used when making his photographs.

My friend, Blake Rudis, has created tutorials and Photoshop Actions to assist in the process of utilizing the Zone System for digital photographs.

Here is a video overview of the Zone System.

This is what I would recommend you trying, instead of Frequency Separation. It’s more in tune with landscape photography, and probably just what you need. Check it out.

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