Chapter Two. Why Do We Sharpen?: And What Must We Take Into Account When We Do So?

Whenever we turn photons into pixels, we lose some degree of sharpness. No matter how high-resolution our capture devices or how expensive our lenses, they sample a fixed grid of pixels and are thus limited. So cameras (and scanners) turn the continuous gradations of tone and color that exist in the real world into discrete pixels of the digital world. When the pixels are small enough, they provide the convincing illusion of continuous tone, but it is just an illusion. Image sharpening is one of the things we simply must do to make the illusion convincing.

The reason that sharpening is such a complex topic (and the reason for this book) is that successful sharpening ...

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