Nowadays, in 2024, almost all raw processing software, from Lightroom to Darktable passing through Luminar and Capture One, support these three functions:
They kind of do similar things but they have different effects and different purposes.
The Texture works on areas of the photos where it’s mostly midtones with little fine details. It’s important to be aware that it does NOT affect lines or edges.
- In real photography like people portraits, applying a negative texture will smooth the skin while keeping the eyes, the eye lashes and the mouth sharp.
The clarity works on edge contrast. Increasing the clarity increases the contrast between pixels that are already quite contrasty.
The higher the camera resolution, the more one should use the clarity.
- The clarity affects both the luminance and the saturation.
- The clarity creates tonal separation.
- The clarity is usually bad for portraits.
In today’s world, cameras with higher megapixels (30+ Mpx) seem to be less sharp than the cameras from the good old days (12 to 16Mpx).
Sharpness is the optical illusion of the contrast between a light pixel against a dark pixel. The higher the camera resolution, the more pixels in between the light pixel and the dark pixel. These in-between pixels fill the gap in luminosity between the light and the dark pixels and lower the appearance of sharpness.
The dehaze restores the contrast and the colour of washed out images.
- The deahze affects both the contrast and the saturation.
- The dehaze creates tonal separation.
- The dehaze makes the image darker.
- Whenever applying sharpening, texture, clarity or dehaze always zoom the software at 100% to see exactly how much is the effect is being applied.
- Zooming at more than 100% will prevent you from viewing exactly what’s being applied. The image processing software has to interpolate the image pixels to the dots of the monitor, so it’s always an approximation when zooming at more than 100%.