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Oversharpening

From: Photoshop Creative Effects and Filters

Video: Oversharpening

Most photographers are familiar with sharpening for their digital images. Both to compensate for the loss of sharpness that might have occurred in the original capture. And also to help ensure the best quality in your final output especially for prints. But you might not think of sharpening as a creative effect. But actually in certain situations, I will apply sharpening, or what I refer to as over-sharpening, in order to add an interesting effect to an image. Let's take a look at what I'm talking about. I'm going to start off by creating a copy of my background image layer.

Oversharpening

Most photographers are familiar with sharpening for their digital images. Both to compensate for the loss of sharpness that might have occurred in the original capture. And also to help ensure the best quality in your final output especially for prints. But you might not think of sharpening as a creative effect. But actually in certain situations, I will apply sharpening, or what I refer to as over-sharpening, in order to add an interesting effect to an image. Let's take a look at what I'm talking about. I'm going to start off by creating a copy of my background image layer.

So I'll drag the thumbnail from the background image layer, down to the Create New Layer button, at the bottom of the Layers panel. I'll then go to the Filter menu and choose Sharpen followed by Unsharp Mask. Now Unsharp Mask is not the latest and greatest sharpening filter in Photoshop. That would be Smart Sharpen. But Unsharp Mask does provide, in my mind, the best fit when it comes to creative sharpening or over sharpening. so I'll go ahead and choose Unsharp Mask from the Sharpen sub menu on the Filter menu. And that will bring up the Unsharp Mask dialog.

For this filter, we have, an amount adjustment, which is the intensity of effect. A radius value, which determines the size of the sharpening halos to be added to the image. And a threshold setting, which allows me to determine how much contrast there needs to be for an edge within the photo, before it's considered an edge. By default, with a value of zero Any contrast difference in the image at all will be enhanced with unsharp mask. I usually start off by increasing the amount to a very strong value. I'll go ahead and take it up to its maximum of 500% and then I'll increase the radius to get a better sense of what effect I might want to apply in the image.

I can then tone down the amount, if I want to in order to mitigate the effect a little bit. And of course, I can also increase the value for threshold, if I want the sharpening effect to only apply to the strongest contrast edges in the photo. So, for example, if I increase threshold significantly, you'll see that the sharpening is only affecting the very high contrast edges within the image. I'll go ahead and bring that value bring it down just a little bit though, and I might increase the radius a little bit more, or even a lot more. There's nothing wrong with experimenting around and seeing what sorts of options might work for an image.

And you can certainly play with the amount as well, taking it up to its maximum value to get a better sense of the real impact of that radius setting. And then reducing the value to tone down the overall result. This is starting to look pretty cool actually, it sort of looks like a play of light on these cobblestones. I think I'm going to keep the radius at a pretty high value. And maybe even increase the amount just a little bit more to really get that exaggerated contrast, which I think is looking pretty cool for this photo. Once you're happy with the settings though, you can simply click the OK button in order to finalize the effect.

And keep in mind, you can also reduce the opacity for your background copy layer if you want to tone down the overall effect. Allowing more of the unsharpened version of the image to show through. And you might even play around with the blend modes as well. Now that we've had a significant change on the appearance of the image for example. I might switch to the Overlay blend mode in order to enhance contrast just a little bit. The point being, it can be helpful to sort of mix and match various techniques when you're looking for a unique, creative effect for an image.

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This video is part of

Image for Photoshop Creative Effects and Filters
Photoshop Creative Effects and Filters

40 video lessons · 3392 viewers

Tim Grey
Author

 
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  1. 1m 24s
    1. Welcome
      1m 24s
  2. 16m 23s
    1. Adding a single filter
      3m 21s
    2. Using the Filter Gallery
      4m 51s
    3. Using Smart Filters
      4m 2s
    4. A flexible filter workflow
      4m 9s
  3. 36m 0s
    1. Creating an ethereal effect with Clarity
      2m 13s
    2. Creating a black-and-white interpretation of an image
      3m 12s
    3. Adding a monochromatic tint effect
      2m 27s
    4. Using a gradient map preset
      2m 42s
    5. Creating a gradient map preset
      7m 48s
    6. Adding a vignette
      3m 17s
    7. Adding film grain
      5m 25s
    8. Oversharpening
      3m 17s
    9. HDR tone mapping
      5m 39s
  4. 37m 47s
    1. Creating a filtered edge effect
      4m 6s
    2. Producing a dreamy look with Surface Blur
      3m 4s
    3. Iris Blur with a twist
      4m 32s
    4. The Tilt-Shift blur effect
      3m 52s
    5. Creating an oil paint effect
      4m 36s
    6. Adding selective motion blur
      4m 36s
    7. Adding lens flare
      5m 21s
    8. Adding a lighting effect
      5m 6s
    9. Adding an ethereal glow
      2m 34s
  5. 24m 21s
    1. Applying a wild curve
      3m 1s
    2. Playing with blend modes
      4m 0s
    3. Creating a painterly effect with Find Edges
      2m 41s
    4. Creating a sketch effect
      5m 26s
    5. Crystallizing pixels
      3m 6s
    6. Getting extreme with Mezzotint
      3m 42s
    7. The Solarize filter
      2m 25s
  6. 38m 38s
    1. Smearing with Liquify
      7m 0s
    2. Going fish-eye with Polar Coordinates
      3m 38s
    3. Using the Spherize and Pinch filters
      3m 18s
    4. Using the Ripple, Twirl, Wave, and ZigZag filters
      5m 45s
    5. Getting blocky with Mosaic
      2m 44s
    6. Creating huge pixels with Pointilize
      3m 0s
    7. Creating tiles
      3m 42s
    8. Creating blocks with Extrude
      4m 29s
    9. Mapping the image with Trace Contour
      2m 44s
    10. Creating a stylized wind-blown effect
      2m 18s

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