Sharpen photos the smart way: demystifying Photoshop’s image-sharpening tools

Sharpen photos with Unsharp Mask

Sharpen photos in Adobe Camera Raw

 Sharpen photos in Adobe Camera Raw

Camera Raw opens automatically when you open a Raw file in Photoshop, but to use it with a JPEG, simply select the image in Bridge, right click with the mouse and select Open in Camera Raw.

The sharpening controls are found under the Details tab, but before you set to work, use the drop-down menu in the bottom left-hand corner of the screen to set the preview to 100%.

Camera Raw’s sharpening controls are similar to the USM controls, with Amount setting the level and Radius dictating the width of the area along the edges that is sharpened.

SEE MORE: Adobe Camera Raw – the secret to using it for just about everything

The Detail slider is similar to Threshold in that it is used to control the haloing and determine how much emphasis is given to the edges, but its impact decreases as its value increases.

A Detail setting of 100 is effectively the same as a zero Threshold value and vice versa.

Finally, the Mask slider is used to restrict where the sharpening is applied. Hold down the Alt key while making Masking adjustments to see where is affected, the black areas will be left untouched.

PAGE 1: Why use Photoshop to sharpen photos
PAGE 2: Sharpen photos with Unsharp Mask
PAGE 3: Sharpening the luminance
PAGE 4: Sharpen photos in Adobe Camera Raw
PAGE 5: Sharpen photos with Smart sharpen

READ MORE

Adobe Lightroom Basics: 6 things you need to know getting started
Photoshop Levels Tool: 6 tricks all the pros use
5 creative photo editing tricks for Adobe Camera Raw
100 free Photoshop textures to download now