This exercise is all to do with the finishing of an image and compares screen reproduction to print reproduction, focussing on the effects of adjusting image sharpness.

I produced four images – an original unsharpened “reference” image and then three copies of it with varying levels of sharpness (Low/Medium/Maximum).  These were all printed and compared under magnifying glass.  They can be seen in full size on Flickr by clicking on the versions below…

Image 1 – Reference

Easter Lily - Reference

On screen and in print some noise is evident.  Under a magnifying glass the noise is more noticeable, but it’s not especially bad.  There is some detail on edges.

Image 2 – Low Sharpness

Easter Lily - Light Sharpness

The noise hasn’t really changed either on screen or in print; in fact on screen the image doesn’t look very different to the reference image.  However in print there is more edge detail visible – particularly when using the magnifying glass, so the sharpness has had some positive impact on the production with no real negatives.

Image 3 – Medium Sharpness

Easter Lily - Middle Sharpness

On screen there is clearly more edge detail now, but in print the noise is a lot more evident and detracts from the increased detail so it’s not that noticeable.

Image 4 – Maximum Sharpness

Easter Lily - Maximum Sharpness

The screen image shows a lot more detail again, compared to image 3 even, and especially compared to the reference image.  Noise isn’t that much more noticeable either.  However, in print the detail the increase in sharpness has brought out on screen isn’t really visible – instead the noise is a lot more evident.

Conclusions

On screen the maximum sharpness version appears better – with more detail brought out by the sharpness, but the version with low sharpness is the best of the print versions.  This is interesting as it shows that there is a clear need to tailor processing to the presentation medium – one size doesn’t fit all!