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Sharpening, but which one?

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  • Sharpening, but which one?

    Hey, can anyone post a link for or explain the essential differences between the sharpening options in PS? I mostly use high pass, but not sure why, I just like it. I used to use unsharp, but heard I shouldn't. so.. I have been trying to figure out when to use what, but am getting mixed info. Any help would be really appreciated. Thanks

  • #2
    Re: Sharpening, but which one?

    Hey there,
    well i usally make two sharpening: the first one before doing the rendering in a way to get rid of the blur due to the bypass filter on the camera digital capteur (right english??). For this one i duplicate my bg layer put it on luminosity at 66% opacity (so it give my range to put it harder after) then i put the compasation of gray at 20-80 145-235 for both. Then i use unsharp mask at a radius of 0.8 (since i got a 8mp, you have to increase this number whit the number of mp you got) and a gain really high... well depands of the final size of the document, but don't be affraid to go around 145-250... for this shot, i knew that it will be not bigger than 8x10 so i put it to the around the maximum gain to make it crispy (since we wont see the pixel destruction at this size). After working my photo, i do a final sharpening just before adding some noise (on a grey layer, softlight, monochromatic noise). this one is usally an Highpass on softlight... not really high.. just to say so. Some do an other one just after have the printsize one selective area to make it "look" sharp, like the eyes, etc.... So the basic is for the source, afterworking, selective before printing. But as usual their is so much different technique, for me this one work well....

    Oh and i dont have to say that you look at 100% everything, but after, go back to 50% this is what the eyes usally will see on print (25% for printing size)

    hope it help and you didnt have to much difficulty understand my english
    Attached Files


    • #3
      Re: Sharpening, but which one?

      Both high pass and USM are acceptable and widely used.

      They're quick and effective when used in moderation.


      • #4
        Re: Sharpening, but which one?

        here is manny librodo's sharpening technique

        Background copy
        USM 18-40-0
        USM 150-.3-0
        Edit>Fade USM 100% in Darken Mode
        USM 150-.3-0
        Edit>Fade USM 50% in Lighten Mode
        Flatten image

        and here is the action -


        • #5
          Re: Sharpening, but which one?

          You might find this PDF by Gry Garness "10 Tips for Sharpening" to be an interesting read


          His other PDF "Sharpening in Photoshop" Looks good also
          Last edited by 0lBaldy; 01-18-2009, 08:53 AM. Reason: added site


          • #6
            Re: Sharpening, but which one?

            I usually first run USM which also helps with contrast a bit then use Smart Sharpen to help with fine tuning the details. Is Smart Sharpen not a wise way to go?
            Last edited by Isun; 01-18-2009, 11:38 AM.


            • #7
              Re: Sharpening, but which one?

              The Light's Right site has free sharpening scripts and actions.


              They'll automate the sharpening process for you.




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