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In Photoshop CS6 for Photographers, author, photographer, and teacher Chris Orwig explores Photoshop from the perspective of the photographer.
The course details the features and techniques behind enhancing and retouching photos, preparing them for print and online publishing, and much more. Chris demonstrates how to make basic edits in Camera Raw, develop and save color profiles, work with layers and selections, tone and sharpen, and retouch images while retaining their natural character.
Chris also shares some creative tips and project ideas, such as converting a photo to black-and-white and enhancing a portrait with hand-painted masks. The course also covers workflow details, such as organizing images in Bridge and Mini Bridge, optimizing Photoshop preferences, and calibrating your monitor.
Here I want to share with you a sharpening effect which is called High Pass Sharpening. This particular technique, it's really popular because it allows you to bring out nice texture and also do some interesting edge sharpening. The way that it works is you have to copy your background layer and then apply a High Pass Filter to that layer. And then de-saturate and apply a Blending mode. Let's go through all of those steps. With our background layer press Command+J or Ctrl+J, and let's name the layer HP for High Pass.
Next, with the Zoom tool I will go ahead and zoom in on the image. And what I want to do is I want to zoom in to the actual pixels, you can click on that button there to do that and then press the Spacebar key to reposition. When I get close to this photograph that I captured on the Brooklyn Bridge I am a little bit disappointed. The image isn't tack sharp, it's a little bit soft. Well we can correct that by using this technique. The way that this technique works as I mentioned is next we to go to our Filter pull-down menu, we go all the way down to other and then we choose High Pass.
At first glance the High Pass Filter is going to seem kind of strange. There is a Radius slider, which allows us to kind of bring in more or less of the image that we can take this down so we kind of have this gray or muted view of our picture. Well what we are doing here is we are seeing this perspective which is going to allow us to bring in the detail. So whatever detail you see here, texture on the face and the coat and the background whatever it is, is a detail that will be sharpened. As you decrease this less detail or less edges will be sharpened as you increase it more.
Let's go ahead and choose an amount where we can kind of see the image and it almost looks like it's pressed into foil or something. We can see it but not quite much of it. The next step after having applied this is going to be to remove the color from this layer. You may notice that there is some color here, we need to get rid of that. So press Command+U on a Mac or Ctrl+U on Windows to open up Hue/Saturation for this layer. Let me exaggerate for a second if I increase the Saturation you can see all this color is here even though you don't really notice it.
So to get rid of the color, drag this slider all the way to the left. So far so good, we applied High Pass, we then pressed Command+U or Ctrl+U to de-saturate, and now we click OK. Next is using blending modes and also duplicating this layer in order to intensify this effect. Well here, we can go down to our blending modes and choose say Overlay, Soft Light or Hard Light, let's start off with Soft Light, this is kind of a middle ground here.
If I click this on or off what you should start to see is that the image it will just subtly snap, how much sharpening is applied is of course how high that Radius was when we use the High Pass Filter. Let me zoom in a little bit closer, here I am past 100% we can kind of see how it's bringing in some nice edged detail into the photograph and also it's bringing out some good texture. Well here, if we want to crank this up we can try Overlay. If we want even more we can go to Hard Light.
And as we apply those amounts you should see that the photograph kind of comes to life in different ways. I'm hoping you can see that texture on the jacket and also in the face. Let's say we want to go back to something more subtle, say the Soft Light amount. Well next what you can do in order to increase the amount of sharpening is you can duplicate or triplicate or go beyond that regards to copying this layer. So for example; press Command+J or Ctrl+J on this layer. Well now we have twice the intensity and you know it's kind of common when using High Pass to apply a real low Radius and then just to duplicate that layer a number of different times so you can kind of build up or stack up that effect.
You don't always have to do that, but sometimes it can really help make that image kind of sink or pop. Another thing you might want to experiment with is using two different blending modes so one is a bit more intense than the other. You can also tinker with lowering or increasing the Opacity. So that you can get just the right amount of sharpening. And the reason why this step of the process is so important is because if you go back to that High Pass Filter and choose that radius, you don't really know how much to choose.
So typically you choose perhaps just a little or a lot and then here you can then modify it with your Blending mode, your Opacity or with however many layers you have. And then finally after you've dialed in your layers you want to click on your eye icons to evaluate your overall before and after.
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