I shot raw images for the first time(mostly landscapes) and also used PhotoshopCS2 for the first time. I came up with the following procedure based on what I read on the internet: First, I opened a NEF file in Photoshop, set the depth at 16bit, selected the various adjustment parameters(white balance,exposure,etc) then saved the image as a jpeg at Quality = 10(max). Next, I opened the jpg file in Photoshop again and ran the Smart Sharpen filter at Amount = 100%, Radius = 1, and Remove = Gaussian Blur, then saved the file again. Any suggestions or recommendations? Thanks
Don't save it as a jpeg and then re-open it. Every time you do so, you will degrade the image quality. Instead, open it directly into Photoshop by clicking on the "Open" button rather than "Save" in Adobe Camera Raw.
Your Smart Sharpen settings might work well for images with a lot of fine detail, but you may want to lower the amount and raise the radius for those with less.
P.S. After performing adjustments in AdobeCameraRaw, I opened the NEF file in Photoshop and did additional edits, but when I went to “Save As” to save the image as a jpg, the list of formats did not include jpg. (I noticed when I did this the old way, the title bar included the words RGB/8 and now instead it says RGB/16, so that might be a clue to the problem?)
>P.S. After performing adjustments in AdobeCameraRaw, I >opened the NEF file in Photoshop and did additional edits, >but when I went to “Save As” to save the image as a jpg, the >list of formats did not include jpg. (I noticed when I did >this the old way, the title bar included the words RGB/8 and >now instead it says RGB/16, so that might be a clue to the >problem?)
That drove me crazy until I found it. I don't know where it is in PhotoShop as I use Elements. But you are looking to convert your image from the 16 bits to 8 bits. JPG's are only 8 bits.
In elements it is on the Image menu then mode then select 8bits/channel. Yours is probably near there also.
On other thought for you. Do your RAW correction, then your Photoshop work but before you convert it to 8 bits save it as a photoshop file, PSD. In other words save it that way just before you convert to 8 bits and before you crop.
I can't count how many times I needed to redo a photo because I wanted to email it in one size, put it on the web here at 800x600 and then a few weeks later I decide to print it 11X14. By saving the corrected as PSD I only have to do the last step or two for the file/crop/size type I want.
For Smart Sharpening, I tend to start with a radius of between 1 and 5 pixels, based on how fine the detail is in the image (and how big the image is). Then increase the amount (while viewing at 100%) until halos or artifacts first start to appear. Then back off the amount a bit so the artifacts go away again. This way you have the most sharpening you can get without overdoing it.