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High Pass Sharpening

Given the universal popularity of the Un-sharp Mask why yet another method? When the major advantage of this method is that it works on a separate layer and so preserving the original layer for future editing. Also the degree of sharpening can be altered at a later date as required. Final layer masks can be used to restrict the sharpening to various areas of the image. So how do we do it?

  1. Duplicate the original layer
  2. Working at 100%
  3. Apply a High Pass Filter from menu Filter>Other>High Pass
  4. Set the radius to one.
  5. Apply the filter and donít panic.
  6. Now change the blending mode to Hard Light

 Now we can adjust the strength of the sharpening using the blending mode, Soft Light produced a more subtle effect and altering the opacity of the layer the degree of sharpening given.

 One of the strengths of this method over the Un-sharp Mask is in busy, detailed images where it tends to have a far less destructive effect than Un-sharp Mask.

 Selecting the area of interest and creating a layer mask allows you to sharpen those areas needed and give the illusion of differential focus to a digital problem.