Photoshop offers many sharpening options but there is one that often gets overlooked and this is High Pass Sharpening. The High Pass filter does not reside with the other sharpening filters but lives under the Other section in the filter menu. This filter is particularly good for photographs with lots of detail but can be used for portraits too, if used in conjunction with a layer mask.
Open an image and duplicate the image Cmd j (PC Ctrl J)
Now go to the Filter – Other – High Pass.
A dialogue box now appears asking you to select a radius. I find a radius of between 3 and 5 pixels works best for me, however this will vary with the resolution of your image so it is best to have a play around to find what works best for you.
Press OK and the image turns to a sludgy grey colour that looks awful, don’t worry.
Go to the blend modes in the layers panel and select overlay.
Voila, a sharpened image! Too sharp? Change the blend mode to Soft Light. Not sharp enough? Change the blend mode to Hard Light. You can also increase the effect by duplicating the High Pass layer. And the effect can be decreased by lowering the layer opacity.
Selective application of the effect can be achieved via a layer mask.
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