What tool should I use to sharpen the edges around the bird?
Apart from engaging the lens sharpness tool, try the unsharp mask tool as shown here:
Besides the sharpness tool, you could try applying some micro-contrast.
This is the sort of thing I bought Topaz Sharpen AI for. I’ve generally found traditional sharpening methods have their limits. Bearing in mind I only had the downloaded JPEG to work from, this was the result I chose. The effects included de-noising and sharpening, applied to the sky and bird. The de-noising mostly just got rid of JPEG artefacts in the sky.
Another issue with PhotoLab is the inability to mask noise and sharpness adjustments. In this case it was imperative that it not be let near the sea, or it turned it all crunchy.
Yes, I still see masking as a weak point in PL. Control points are ok but imo somewhat limited when set beside the competition generally.
Using the available tools in Photolab and wishing to sharpen the bird but nothing else, I believe the only option would be by applying microcontrast via local adjustments. Preferably with a well placed control line or alternatively control point/s, with luma adjusted to only effect the bird.
I think Control Points and Control Lines are brilliant and make a lot of my masking jobs a lot easier. Their chief issue for me is not being able to apply a lot of PhotoLab’s capabilities with them.
Other tools have less capable, or less easily used, mask creation, but let you apply a whole swathe of adjustments once you have it.
Certainly additional functionality in terms of editing tools would be welcome but I still feel that control point tech is looking tired now, especially given the Ai stuff that Lr et al are implementing. Basically what is a control point - a radial mask with range masking. That has been around for a long time now. I am not saying control points are not useful, they are just not the complete answer now - not if one expects PL to be a full stand alone editor.
Sharpening is: increasing the contrast at edge transitions. As there is no detail present in the bird itself, and supposing that you don’t want to see halos, the only thing that you can do is to darken the bird. But the bird already is as black as black can be. If you want the best possible result, this is rarely achieved by using one single application: one size fits all doesn’t exist.
I imported your image in Picture Window Pro 7, masked everything but the bird (very easy in this image, 2 sec. of work) and applied unsharp mask to the bird. This sharpens the silhouette to a certain extent… I don’t think you can do a lot more. I didn’t use the halo limit slider, if you set the white halo limit = 0 you will be certain that there is no halo at all, but the sharpening effect will be a bit less.
Maybe AI-based applications can do more, but in my experience the often introduce artifacts and invent details that are not there. I don’t use Topaz for that reason, I always have to check carefully if nothing went wrong somewhere in the image.
Similar cases as presented happen of course, but not so often. I don’t think that it’s objectionable that you need to use a more dedicated tool once in a while. Topaz, if you like, or anything appropriate.
Just a thought but would not the Auto Mask brush work on that?
The trouble with AI is when it gets it wrong… you have to resort to the other tools anyway. Yes, it can be great when it works, but it is certainly no panacea.
I don’t do much editing in Lightroom, but when I did try the AI masking I gave it a really simple example and it did a really bad job. A well-focused shot of a helicopter hovering in a clear blue sky. It managed the swirling rotors quite well, but failed to deal with the skids! This was true both of subject and sky selection. Incidentally, those two selections were not complementary either.
If any mask gets it wrong one has to react somehow. It has always been that way, control points included. Ai masking is no exception, although my experience with it in Lr is very good and of course that capability is extended if Ps is brought into the equation. I agree that external tools can always be brought into play with PL and there is nothing wrong with that as a solution. The issue is PL is not seen as a “just” a raw editor when maybe that is what it is really (and a very good one).
I have found that since I have been using DeepPrime, I have never had to sharpen anything.
Have not been seeing that. That said, is there any reason to use Deep Prime on all images?
I use DeepPrime on every image. It’s probably not always required, but it doesn’t hurt anything either. Just easier for my workflow. As well most of my work uses higher ISOs.