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Reviewing high-pass sharpening

From: Inkjet Printing for Photographers

Video: Reviewing high-pass sharpening

I'm going to show you a different sharpening technique. This time we are going to sharpen without using a sharpening plug-in. As discussed previously, it's not actually possible to sharpen an image. When we sharpen, we are creating an optical illusion really. We're going in and performing lots of tiny contrast adjustments on every edge in the image. As the edges become more contrasty, they appear sharper. So anyway that we can find to increase localized contrast in an image, meaning separate contrast adjustments for localized areas in an image, any time we can do that, we're going to create an image that's sharper looking, and there are a lot of different ways of doing that.

Reviewing high-pass sharpening

I'm going to show you a different sharpening technique. This time we are going to sharpen without using a sharpening plug-in. As discussed previously, it's not actually possible to sharpen an image. When we sharpen, we are creating an optical illusion really. We're going in and performing lots of tiny contrast adjustments on every edge in the image. As the edges become more contrasty, they appear sharper. So anyway that we can find to increase localized contrast in an image, meaning separate contrast adjustments for localized areas in an image, any time we can do that, we're going to create an image that's sharper looking, and there are a lot of different ways of doing that.

As before, I'm going to start by duplicating my Background layer. In other words I am going to be creating a separate sharpening layer so that I can always delete it later if I need to. As before, I am also going to zoom in to 100%. This is an effect where you really need to be looking at your image at full-size to be able to judge your settings properly. Filter > Other > High Pass. Now when I pull this up, my image is going to get weird looking, it goes gray, it's got this weird kind of embossed look to it, and it's got these weird color artifacts. Photoshop's default settings for the High Pass Filter are 10, normally they will come in at your last used settings.

This is a fresh copy of Photoshop so I have got the default ones here. First thing I am going to do is slide all the way to zero, and that brings my image out to complete gray. What I want to do now is slide to the right until I just start to see details appearing, and I can see some eyes there, I can go farther and start to see more detail, but now I am seeing skin texture, and I don't want any skin texture sharpened. So I am going to back off to about there. There is no recipe here, your image might be completely different.

I am just really basing it on can I see the details that I want sharpened. The reason I am showing you this technique is High Pass sharpening is a great way of getting a nice gentle effective sharpening without risking over-sharpening built into it as this kind of a localized thing. I'm not really going to be sharpening skin tone, which, as we have seen in previous movies, is a good thing. So I am going to say OK now. And there is a step that you may need to perform, we don't really need to in this image, but I'll do it anyway. Remember those color artifacts you saw when we first brought up the High Pass Filter.

Some of those may still be in here, they are really hard to see, but we can easily remove them by going to Image > Adjustments and then down to Desaturate, or we can hit Command+Shift+U. So that will just pull out any of that color stuff which will keep our process a little cleaner. And now over here in the layers palette, I go to my Blending mode menu, it's this one that says Normal. Normally when I have got two layers sitting on top of each other and Blending mode is set to normal, pixels on top simply replace pixels below.

Remember that every pixel is simply represented by a numeric value, so by changing the Blending mode, Photoshop basically does mathematical operations between those pixel values to come up with new values. Fortunately rather than give the mathematical descriptions, they give them these names that may or may not make any sense. For this, we want to switch to Overlay, and when I do that, I get this, my image goes back to normal. Now right away I can't really tell that there's been any sharpening because I don't remember what it looked like before. So I am going to hide my High Pass layer.

So here's before, watch this area and here it's very, very subtle, and after, her eyes have just picked up a little bit of sharpening. You may or may not be able to see down in your smaller view that you're getting in this video. What I want to do though is look at some of these details down in here, areas that I don't want to have sharpened. So I am going to watch those, while I turn sharpening off and on, and I see no change at all. So this has done a really good job of localizing itself to just her eyes. This is a technique you should play with. You should practice with it some, you should see what you think about it and decide for yourself whether it's a technique you want to start using regularly.

Again, what I like about it is it's got built-in localization. This really went into just her eyes because I kind of defined a mask when I was setting my High Pass controls, and it's very rare that you can get to the point of seeing full on sharpening halos when you're using a High Pass sharpening technique. Finally, I do keep it as a discrete sharpening layer, so I can always throw this out and redo it later if I print it, and decide I don't like the sharpened settings. So fiddle around some with this High Pass sharpening, it's a very good sharpening technique to have in your post production toolbox.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Inkjet Printing for Photographers
Inkjet Printing for Photographers

68 video lessons · 13188 viewers

Ben Long
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 9m 18s
    1. Welcome
      1m 50s
    2. Exploring why we print
      4m 3s
    3. Understanding what you need for this course
      3m 25s
  2. 13m 29s
    1. Why inkjet printing?
      4m 36s
    2. Understanding ink types: Dye vs. pigment
      4m 26s
    3. Discussing considerations for black and white
      1m 48s
    4. Reviewing the features
      2m 39s
  3. 1h 1m
    1. Printing and your workflow
      3m 3s
    2. Printing black-and-white photos
      6m 49s
    3. Understanding the histogram
      7m 37s
    4. Understanding what localized adjustments are used for
      2m 38s
    5. Explaining the histogram with a practical example
      6m 51s
    6. Making a localized adjustment in a practical example
      5m 30s
    7. Evaluating a localized adjustment in a practical example
      2m 29s
    8. Refining a localized adjustment for effect
      13m 36s
    9. Making a gradient adjustment
      6m 47s
    10. Paying attention to viewing conditions
      4m 49s
    11. Summing up
      1m 50s
  4. 54m 36s
    1. Understanding pixels, printer dots, and resolution
      2m 44s
    2. Understanding resolution
      2m 33s
    3. Defining resampling and interpolation
      3m 41s
    4. Understanding where resizing fits into your workflow
      2m 12s
    5. Defining native printer resolution
      2m 39s
    6. Understanding the relationship between viewing distance and print size
      2m 1s
    7. Reducing image size in Photoshop
      9m 11s
    8. Cropping to a specific size and resolution using Canvas Size
      4m 34s
    9. Cropping to a specific size and resolution using the Crop tool
      5m 15s
    10. Enlarging an image in Photoshop
      7m 7s
    11. Creating a triptych
      3m 55s
    12. Creating a triptych using Automator on a Mac
      4m 5s
    13. Exploring the aesthetics of print size
      4m 39s
  5. 1h 17m
    1. Understanding how sharpening works
      3m 18s
    2. Sharpening in JPEG mode
      1m 26s
    3. Exploring sharpening workflows
      3m 47s
    4. Sharpening in Camera Raw
      6m 17s
    5. Looking at noise reduction
      1m 46s
    6. Sharpening output with Smart Sharpen
      11m 52s
    7. Understanding selective sharpening
      4m 25s
    8. Sharpening through an edge mask
      7m 17s
    9. Reviewing high-pass sharpening
      4m 30s
    10. Applying aggressive sharpening
      8m 53s
    11. Exploring advanced sharpening techniques
      9m 7s
    12. Exploring the Print dialog
      11m 35s
    13. Proofing at smaller sizes
      3m 3s
  6. 53m 9s
    1. Exploring how color works
      2m 5s
    2. Reviewing color models
      2m 56s
    3. Defining gamut and color space
      9m 55s
    4. Reviewing when colors go out of gamut
      4m 54s
    5. Configuring Photoshop's color settings
      5m 47s
    6. Changing color space in Camera Raw
      4m 7s
    7. Working in an advanced color space
      6m 13s
    8. Assigning a color space in Photoshop
      2m 20s
    9. Correcting a color image
      9m 17s
    10. Printing a color image
      3m 30s
    11. Evaluating the print
      2m 5s
  7. 34m 46s
    1. What is color management?
      4m 16s
    2. Profiling a monitor
      8m 45s
    3. Evaluating a monitor profile
      4m 37s
    4. Exploring paper profiles
      5m 17s
    5. Understanding soft proofing
      11m 51s
  8. 24m 33s
    1. Understanding how paper quality affects the appearance of black in prints
      3m 26s
    2. Looking at third-party papers
      3m 46s
    3. Looking at paper finish
      3m 44s
    4. Understanding paper traits
      6m 31s
    5. Discussing paper choice and presentation
      7m 6s
  9. 23m 18s
    1. Printing a black-and-white image
      11m 45s
    2. Printing a color image
      11m 33s
  10. 1m 16s
    1. Goodbye
      1m 16s

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