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 Adobe CS - what is the best sharpening technique? 

Please forgive me if this has been asked a thousand times before, but I just joined this forum and couldn't pull up anything on a search. 

I've been told that unsharp mask is a crude way of sharpening images. Is there any other effective technique in Photoshop CS? I would really appreciate it because I find that my 300D is not very sharp out of the box. Its like there is a film of haze of some sort on the pictures that needs a lift. 
Are you shooting in RAW or JPEG? If the latter, I would use the sharpness settings in the camera as every time you edit and save a JPEG some image info is lost. If you shoot RAW, unsharp mask is the best way to do it from within PS CS (without buying a sharpening plug-in). I have just treated myself to PS CS2 and its new Smart Sharpen filter works really well -- better than USM IMHO

Using the Image Editor

Once you've chosen and installed an image editor, become familiar with opening JPEG files from PhotoDisks, or opening some of the generally-included license-free images on the installation disk. 
Also become familiar with opening a photograph or other graphic and saving the file in a different file type. 
Practice using "New" and creating a new blank image document and pasting a clipboard image you copied from a website or from a game. 
Practice opening up "wallpaper" or "desktop pictures" and saving these files as both JPEG (.jpg extension) or GIF (.gif extension) files. 
Open your browser and from within the browser, select either "Open File" or "Open Local" and use your file manager dialog box to locate the JPEG or GIF files you previously saved. 
If your browser opens the image and it looks like you expected it to, you have successfully created or edited a picture and saved it in a format suitable for uploading to your website. 
Many images which come on PhotoDisks appear sideways or upside down. Use your editor to rotate them. Generally the choices let you rotate the image clockwise or counterclockwise or flip it horizontally or vertically. 
When the image appears in the correct perspective, save it. That way further editing will occur on an image which is at least right-side up.. 

GIMP Figure: photo editor

Figure 1, below, shows the GIMP version 1.3 opened in SUSE Linux Professional 9.0 and the KDE desktop. The Geese picture to be edited is in the upper right of the screen shot.

Figure 1. Screen shot of GIMP version 1.3 running on SUSE Linux 9.0 and the KDE desktop for Linux. The crop tool has been used to place a crop box around the area that will remain after cropping. Please see text for an explanation. (Geese photo by Mike Angelo) 

All the figures in today's tutorial were made with the GIMP version 1.3 opened in SUSE Linux Professional 9.0 and the KDE desktop. Screen shots were made using the GIMP's screen shot feature.

The next major GIMP release will be GIMP 2.0. The current end-user version is GIMP 1.2.5. In between those two versions is GIMP 1.3.x, the pre-2.0 developers' version.

Since this tutorial is based upon GIMP 1.3, it should also be applicable to GIMP 2.0 when it is released. The tools used in today's tutorial also are in GIMP 1.2.x. Thus, this tutorial also is applicable to GIMP 1.2.x.

Photo-Brush is a cool new image editor
Photo-Brush is a cool new image editor, natural and artistic media painting program, picture retouching tool, photo enhancer and Image Browser for Windows 95/98/NT/2000/XP.

It has many rich tools and effects for photo adjusting and photo retouching found in much more expensive professional tools.
And there are also some effects and tools you can hardly find elsewhere.

It is also one of very few featured image editors supporting full range of EXIF information from Digital Camera images.

With Photo-Brush you can easily correct all unwanted problems of your digital images, you can create a new painting or web graphics.

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