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high pass sharpening

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  • high pass sharpening

    I have read of a method of sharpening known as "high pass sharpening". Technique is:

    1.Duplicate_Base layer (if needed unlock first) apply High Pass Filter found under Filters/Other

    2.Apply a Radius value of around 10.0

    3.Change the Mode from Normal to Hard Light.

    4.Move opacity slider to 10 - 25% normally.

    More information on high pass sharpening is available.

    My question: On first glance, this seems to be a much more straightforward and effective method than using UnSharpMask. Do the pros on this forum agree that HPS is a good replacement for USM for "general" sharpening?

  • #2

    Not strictly speaking answering your question, but while you're looking at sharpening techniques you may also want to look at the "smart sharpening" technique which was discussed in this forum thread.


    • #3
      Recently some guys remind me of the power of the High Pass filter. Here's an interesting article about High Pass filter.


      • #4
        Bruce Fraser, author of several well-known Photoshop books, has recently written a new article on the topic of sharpening --

        Bruce Fraser's article at

        Bruce Fraser offers his latest thoughts about when and how to sharpen --
        Since we sharpen for three very different reasons, why not split the sharpening into three separate stages: one close to capture, one in the creative phase, and one round of sharpening tailored specifically for the final output?
        Mr. Fraser makes use of Unsharp Mask, edge masking, luminous blend mode, Blend IF, as well as High Pass sharpening -- and suggests when and how to use each. Food for thought.


        • #5

          I found out about this technique several weeks ago, and find it very useful. It is also worth looking at the soft light blend option, as I find hard light can be a bit harsh.


          • #6

            Food for thought? I think I'll be feasting on this for a few weeks at least. Just did a read through and it looks very interesting. Seems though it is a lot of work. Especially if you are into high volume. Have you tried his technique? Results?



            • #7
              Seems though it is a lot of work. Especially if you are into high volume. Have you tried his technique? Results?
              Haven't tried his whole workflow -- it's new thinking for him, as you'll see when you get time to digest the article. He has a link to his previous workflow which was somewhat different.

              I'm not into high volume, but it would likely be possible to write actions for the initial sharpening and the output sharpening - different actions for different output devices -- but always allowing for, and requiring some tweaking. The middle section - his so-called "creative sharpening" would require individual attention at all times as far as I understand it.

              If the results are apparent, then the time spent would be well spent, would it not? If the work is paid work, and the workflow creates a better image result, then it would be part of the cost of doing business. I'm SAYING IF -- since I don't know, but I plan on giving it a try.


              • #8
                Thank you CJ. My learning curve is steeper than yours. Perhaps as we both learn more we'll touch base again.



                • #9

                  I didn't say I was going to do it RIGHT; I said I was going to give it a try.

                  We're all at some point in the learning curve, and I sure have learned a lot since I joined here -- one of the things that I learned was how much more there is to learn... But that's part of the joy of learning Photoshop -- not going to get bored.


                  • #10
                    Highpass Shatpening

                    I use highpass a lot. Particularly in landscapes.

                    I made an action for it, which I find very useful as all I now have to do is to adjust the final opacity.


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