Photoshop CS5 One-on-One: Mastery
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Sharpening a high-frequency image


Photoshop CS5 One-on-One: Mastery

with Deke McClelland

Video: Sharpening a high-frequency image

In the next couple of exercises, we are going to use Smart Filters to sharpen a high-frequency image, that is, an image that has rapid luminance transitions inside of it, and then we are going to turn around and quell the noise that rises up when we apply a sharpening filter. I am working inside of an image that I shot last year called Avignon cathedral.jpg, and if you zoom in on this image, you are going to see that we do have a fair amount of noise going on, in these windows for example, it's most evident.
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  1. 40m 45s
    1. Welcome
      2m 45s
    2. Making Photoshop your default image editor
      7m 43s
    3. Installing the dekeKeys keyboard shortcuts
      8m 10s
    4. Remapping OS shortcuts
      7m 37s
    5. Installing the Best Workflow color settings
      4m 31s
    6. The color settings explained
      6m 54s
    7. Loading the CS5 color settings in Bridge
      3m 5s
  2. 1h 11m
    1. Your creative range continues to expand
      1m 46s
    2. The Avatar project so far
      2m 38s
    3. Painting on a photograph
      7m 50s
    4. Adding texture and depth
      6m 14s
    5. Simulating chalky white paint
      7m 23s
    6. Masking and placing an image
      7m 20s
    7. Upsampling and Lens Blur
      5m 9s
    8. Blending blurry elements
      3m 48s
    9. Making a Smart Object
      6m 46s
    10. Placing an image as a Smart Object
      3m 22s
    11. Blending away a background
      5m 56s
    12. Applying Smart Filters
      4m 34s
    13. Creating a glow with Lens Flare
      3m 45s
    14. Blending and masking a glow
      5m 3s
  3. 1h 26m
    1. Using the image to select itself
      1m 53s
    2. Introducing masking
      6m 32s
    3. Making an alpha channel
      6m 54s
    4. Using the Calculations command
      6m 48s
    5. Add, Subtract, Offset, and Scale
      5m 54s
    6. Prepping an image with the Dodge tool
      6m 55s
    7. Fixing mistakes before they get too big
      6m 32s
    8. Painting in the Overlay mode
      5m 51s
    9. Exaggerating and selecting flesh tones
      7m 39s
    10. Smudge, Median, and the Blur tool
      6m 59s
    11. Masking low-contrast details
      6m 7s
    12. Creating a flesh-and-clothing mask
      5m 45s
    13. Masking and compositing the foreground
      5m 27s
    14. Finessing the final composition
      7m 39s
  4. 2h 24m
    1. Connecting the dots
      1m 40s
    2. The Pen tool and the Paths panel
      6m 32s
    3. Drawing a straight-sided outline
      6m 25s
    4. Editing a path outline
      6m 36s
    5. Adding and editing smooth points
      5m 35s
    6. Creating vector masks with the shape tools
      4m 59s
    7. Building a complex outline from shapes
      4m 26s
    8. Subtracting and transforming shapes
      6m 45s
    9. Cloning, flipping, and combining shapes
      8m 58s
    10. Roughing in non-symmetrical paths
      7m 41s
    11. Finessing a complex outline
      9m 15s
    12. Masking a layer effect
      8m 26s
    13. Isolating an image element
      6m 8s
    14. Smooth points and control handles
      9m 3s
    15. Stretching curved segments
      7m 49s
    16. Using the Rubber Band option
      9m 33s
    17. Drawing smooth points with the Pen tool
      6m 59s
    18. Shading an isolated object
      3m 45s
    19. Drawing cusp points
      7m 14s
    20. Setting points in the pasteboard
      9m 57s
    21. Using the Convert Point tool
      6m 42s
  5. 2h 57m
    1. Everything you need to know about blending
      1m 45s
    2. Photoshop CS5's blend modes
      7m 21s
    3. Cycling between blend modes
      6m 15s
    4. Darken and Lighten and their derivatives
      6m 3s
    5. The blend mode shortcuts
      8m 6s
    6. The Multiply and Burn modes
      4m 28s
    7. The Screen and Dodge modes
      6m 0s
    8. How opposite blend modes work
      8m 24s
    9. Why Multiply darkens and Divide lightens
      5m 23s
    10. Cleaning up a client's bad art
      5m 3s
    11. Dropping out a white background
      5m 56s
    12. Blending inside blend modes
      8m 3s
    13. Overlay, Soft Light, and Hard Light
      6m 26s
    14. Vivid, Linear, and Pin Light (and Hard Mix)
      6m 35s
    15. Difference, Exclusion, Subtract, and Divide
      7m 34s
    16. Great uses for the Difference mode
      6m 18s
    17. Promising uses for the Divide mode
      9m 6s
    18. Hue, Saturation, Color, and Luminosity
      7m 0s
    19. Blending an inverted layer
      3m 32s
    20. The "Fill Opacity Eight"
      7m 25s
    21. Making bad blend modes good
      5m 16s
    22. Making a knockout layer
      6m 53s
    23. Blending in the CMYK mode
      8m 3s
    24. Overprinting black text
      8m 29s
    25. Using the Luminance slider
      5m 24s
    26. Parametric luminance masking
      6m 21s
    27. Adjusting the behavior of luminance effects
      10m 8s
  6. 2h 2m
    1. Smart Objects = protective containers
      1m 35s
    2. Placing an Illustrator graphic
      6m 30s
    3. Vector copy and paste options
      6m 56s
    4. Applying Puppet Warp to vectors
      8m 9s
    5. "Gluing" vector art for Puppet Warp
      5m 50s
    6. Warping art onto the surface of an image
      8m 7s
    7. Blending a Smart Object
      4m 30s
    8. Blurring and blending a Smart Object
      6m 8s
    9. Making changes in Illustrator
      5m 57s
    10. Creating "true clones"
      7m 18s
    11. Double-flipping text
      4m 44s
    12. Applying effects to multiple layers
      3m 24s
    13. Updating true clones in one operation
      7m 36s
    14. Editing JPEGs as Camera Raw objects
      5m 49s
    15. Creating a double-exposure effect
      7m 15s
    16. Masking and shading transitions
      7m 47s
    17. Applying and repeating Camera Raw edits
      6m 9s
    18. Copying vs. cloning a Smart Object
      5m 18s
    19. Flipping a Smart Object and its mask
      3m 42s
    20. Adjusting multiple Camera Raw clones
      3m 53s
    21. Text that inverts everything behind it
      5m 34s
  7. 1h 59m
    1. This time, "smart" means dynamic
      1m 37s
    2. Introducing Smart Filters
      6m 28s
    3. Traditional High Pass sharpening
      5m 17s
    4. Smart High Pass in the Lab mode
      7m 57s
    5. Sharpening a high-frequency image
      7m 46s
    6. Retroactively reducing noise
      7m 31s
    7. Which filters are Smart Filters?
      6m 20s
    8. Shadows/Highlights as a Smart Filter
      4m 37s
    9. Nesting one Smart Object inside another
      7m 11s
    10. Drawing a mask from a nested Smart Object
      8m 7s
    11. Better Shadows/Highlights inside Lab
      9m 16s
    12. Tempering saturation values in Lab
      7m 0s
    13. Filtering live, editable text
      9m 2s
    14. Enhancing filters with layer effects
      4m 33s
    15. Applying a filter multiple times
      5m 0s
    16. Creating a synthetic star field
      7m 7s
    17. Making a stucco or drywall pattern
      6m 28s
    18. Land, sea, and clouds
      8m 27s
  8. 2h 50m
    1. Photoshop's advanced painting tools
      2m 3s
    2. Canvas texture and brush libraries
      6m 40s
    3. Painting with a predefined custom brush
      9m 21s
    4. Dissecting a custom brush
      11m 9s
    5. Designing and using a custom brush
      4m 54s
    6. Saving and loading brush presets
      5m 27s
    7. The ten styles of bristle brushes
      9m 47s
    8. Size, Spacing, and Angle
      7m 2s
    9. Using the Bristle Brush preview
      7m 53s
    10. Bristles, Length, Thickness, and Stiffness
      6m 53s
    11. Stylus tilt and mouse behavior
      5m 25s
    12. Stroking a path outline with a brush
      4m 0s
    13. Troubleshooting a stylus
      5m 49s
    14. Introducing the Mixer Brush
      7m 22s
    15. The Load, Mix, and Wet values
      5m 1s
    16. Cleaning and loading a brush
      6m 26s
    17. Shading a piece of graphic art
      6m 34s
    18. Shading with color
      7m 53s
    19. Mixing a photographic portrait
      6m 11s
    20. Tracing the fine details in an image
      5m 52s
    21. Crosshatching and brush size
      5m 53s
    22. Covering up and augmenting details
      7m 36s
    23. Painting in hair and fabric
      5m 54s
    24. Painting and scaling very fine hairs
      8m 7s
    25. Adding texture with the Emboss filter
      8m 31s
    26. Exploiting a "happy accident"
      2m 46s
  9. 1h 40m
    1. Artificial intelligence that works
      1m 22s
    2. The Auto-Align Layers command
      7m 25s
    3. The Auto-Blend Layers command
      3m 54s
    4. Masking auto-aligned layers
      4m 50s
    5. The Geometric Distortion setting
      6m 44s
    6. The Seamless Tones and Colors checkbox
      4m 8s
    7. Creating the best possible layer mask
      9m 18s
    8. Auto-blending depths of field
      5m 54s
    9. Finessing masks, accepting imperfections
      6m 29s
    10. Shooting and downsampling panorama images
      5m 54s
    11. Introducing the Photomerge command
      6m 40s
    12. Evaluating the Layout settings
      6m 47s
    13. Loading, aligning, and blending with Photomerge
      5m 36s
    14. Tracing and extracting seams
      7m 18s
    15. Adding a masked element into a panorama
      5m 55s
    16. Simplifying and correcting a panorama
      5m 58s
    17. Smart Filters and nondestructive cropping
      6m 43s
  10. 1h 18m
    1. The most mysterious of mysterious topics
      2m 29s
    2. Introducing HDR Toning
      6m 43s
    3. Reigning in clipped highlights
      5m 54s
    4. The Local Adaptation options
      9m 5s
    5. Nondestructive editing with HDR Toning
      8m 22s
    6. Using the HDR Toning Curve
      7m 2s
    7. HDR Toning vs. Shadows/Highlights
      6m 0s
    8. Merging multiple exposures
      7m 14s
    9. A first look at HDR Pro
      6m 24s
    10. Removing ghosts, correcting backlighting
      7m 11s
    11. Generating and editing an HDR comp
      7m 0s
    12. HDR rendered to completion
      5m 19s
  11. 1h 27m
    1. Processing hundreds of files in no time
      1m 43s
    2. Creating an action set
      6m 37s
    3. Making an action
      7m 7s
    4. Stop, Delete, and Record
      7m 12s
    5. Add, Undo, and Rerecord
      6m 40s
    6. Playing and testing an action
      6m 31s
    7. Playing and editing a specific operation
      6m 39s
    8. Permitting the user to change settings
      4m 58s
    9. Explaining an action with a custom stop
      5m 0s
    10. Batch-processing multiple images
      7m 22s
    11. Adding a Save As operation
      6m 34s
    12. Creating an action to save web graphics
      7m 59s
    13. Batching two actions into one
      7m 15s
    14. Saving and loading actions
      5m 30s
  12. 1m 19s
    1. See ya
      1m 19s

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Watch the Online Video Course Photoshop CS5 One-on-One: Mastery
20h 1m Advanced Sep 30, 2010

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

In the all-new Photoshop CS5 One-on-One: Mastery, the third and final installment of the popular series, join industry expert and award-winning author Deke McClelland for an in-depth tour of the most powerful and empowering features of Photoshop CS5. Discover the vast possibilities of traditional tools, such as masking and blend modes, and then delve into Smart Objects, Photomerge, as well as the new Puppet Warp, Mixer Brush, and HDR features. Exercise files accompany the course.

Recommended prerequisites: Photoshop CS5 One-on-One: Fundamentals and Photoshop CS5 One-on-One: Advanced.

Topics include:
  • Using masks and blend modes in radically new ways
  • Mastering the Pen tool and Paths panel
  • Transforming and maximizing Smart Objects
  • Employing Smart Filters to create complex effects
  • Exploring the capabilities of Bristle brushes and the Mixer Brush
  • Merging multiple images into seamless panoramas
  • Exploring the full range of luminance with HDR Pro
  • Recording actions and batching-processing images
Design Photography
Deke McClelland

Sharpening a high-frequency image

In the next couple of exercises, we are going to use Smart Filters to sharpen a high-frequency image, that is, an image that has rapid luminance transitions inside of it, and then we are going to turn around and quell the noise that rises up when we apply a sharpening filter. I am working inside of an image that I shot last year called Avignon cathedral.jpg, and if you zoom in on this image, you are going to see that we do have a fair amount of noise going on, in these windows for example, it's most evident.

We have a fair amount of luminance noise that is variations between neighboring pixels where the luminosity is concerned, and then we also have an awful lot of color noise going on, random variations and colors between neighboring pixels. Now normally, I should say, if this were a static adjustment that we are about to apply, we would have to get rid of the noise before we apply the sharpening filter, because otherwise, you'll get rid of your sharpening, if you follow up sharpening with noise reduction.

So you want to start with noise reduction when you're working static. When you're working with Smart Filters, you have a lot more flexibility. You can go ahead and apply the degree of sharpening you want to apply, and then turn around and retroactively get rid of your noise, and change the order of your filters. So you can swap the order of filters when you're working with Smart Filters anytime you like. All right, for starters here, let's convert this background item into a Smart Object. By going up to the flyout menu and choosing Convert to Smart Object or pressing Ctrl+Comma, Command+Comma on the Mac; if you loaded dekeKeys.

I am going to rename this layer cathedral, and then let's turn around and sharpen it. Now because it's a high-frequency image, because it's a landscape, because it's an outdoor shot, that kind of thing, anything but a portrait essentially, we are best off using the Smart Sharpen Filter. So I'll go up to the Filter menu, I'll choose Sharpen and I'll choose Smart Sharpen, or you can press Shift+F6, once again a dekeKeys shortcut, and these are my print defaults, as applied to the image. Now it looks like, it's going to make an absolute mess, that is an Amount value of 250%, Radius of 3.5, Remove set to Lens Blur.

We do not want More Accurate turned On, because that's just going to make things even messier than ever, as you can see right there. Anyway, I am going to turn that check box Off, but notice if I zoom the image out to something like, let's say 33% in the background, and I am going to go ahead and scroll my image over so that we can see it, we are achieving a much better effect. So I'll turn the Preview check box Off for a moment, this is the before version of the cathedral, and this is the after version, thanks to our application of Smart Sharpen.

So I am going to be applying a fairly aggressive amount of smart sharpening here, but I don't think it's over the top, and I don't think it's by any means an over-sharpening effect especially when we go to print the image. And recall, you need to zoom out from the image in order to get a sense of how it's going to print, something like 25% or 33% or even 50% for low resolution output is going to give you a better sense of what your image will look like. Anyway, I am going to click OK in order to accept these Print defaults. So I didn't make any changes from the last time I used the Filter, click OK, and then of course, I end up with Smart Sharpen listed among my Smart Filters.

Now because I am working with Smart Sharpen, just as if I were working with Unsharp Mask, I need to follow up the application of the Filter with the Luminosity Blend mode. So I will go over here to the sliders icon, double-click on it to bring up the Blending Options dialog box, and everything is going to happen a little slower inside this image, because this image has more pixels in it. It's a higher resolution photograph. Mostly because this is pretty much the photograph as I captured it, I didn't down-sample at this time-around, I'll change mode from Normal to Luminosity, and that will go ahead and get rid of any color variations that we are specifically applying using Smart Sharpen, but it won't get rid of the original color noise, that's going to remain in there.

So I will click OK in order to accept the effect. If you want it to, you can reduce the Opacity value, but I want the noise to really be obvious here. So I am going to leave the sharpness cranked up. I'll click OK and you know what else I want to do, if I zoom in here to this top edge, that is the edge between the cathedral and the sky, I am going to see that I have got too much in the way of haloing. So if you want to mitigate that haloing in any spot, then you can go ahead and paint inside of your Filter Mask, so I will click the Filter Mask to make it active and then I am going to grab my Paintbrush right there, by clicking on it or pressing the B key, and this time around I've got a fairly small brush, 80 pixels, a Hardness of 0% once again, because I am painting directly inside the mask.

I am painting with black because black is my foreground color, that's what I want, because I want to paint away the effect, and I will click right there at the top, and from this point on, I am going to Shift+Click to create brushstrokes in straight line. So I will Shift+Click there, Shift+Click. So I've got the Shift key down the entire time I am clicking and I am just clicking along this ledge right there in order to completely get rid of that over-the-top halo there. As you can see, however, I am also making kind of a mess of the sharpening effect.

So we end up with this certain amount of gumminess going on. Now I don't want to Shift+Click around each one of these tiles. So I am just going to go up to the top here and Shift+Click, so I am creating a straight line across all the tiles, make quick work of that one. Shift+Click, Shift+Click, Shift+Click right about there may be Shift+Click there, so now I am going to zoom out. We've also got a little bit of chromatic aberration left inside of this image. I try to get rid of it in advance actually, but I wasn't entirely successful, just as you won't be inside of all your images, I might click along here as well.

Anyway that's enough. Now it's too much of course, because it's a fairly rapid transition between no sharpening whatsoever, and super-sharpening down below. So with this Filter Mask selected, I am going to bring up my Masks panel and I am going to go ahead and reduce the Density to let's say something like 50%, see what it looks like, that's pretty good. That might be taking it down too far, so you could raise it to 60%, something along those lines is going to end up working pretty well. All right, so we'll click OK and you may recall the whole idea behind Density is that you're reducing the Opacity of the mask so that you're seeing more through the mask to the original effect, and that's going to provide us with better transitions.

All right, so I will go ahead and hide that panel. Problem is now of course, if we take a look at let's say that window, we are going to see more noise than ever it worked here, and I will go ahead and zoom in to 200%, so we can really see that noise. So this is what things look like before I apply the Filter. I will go ahead and click the eyeball in front of Smart Filters. This is what things look like. So it was pretty noisy but mostly at this point we are seeing the color noise as opposed to the luminance noise, and if I were to press Ctrl+Z or Command+Z on the Mac, that's going to turn the Smart Filters back On, which is oftentimes quicker to undo the turning Off of a Smart Filter as opposed to clicking the eyeball to turn it back On, because the latter sometimes requires Photoshop to re-create the effect on the fly.

Now we are seeing the color noise to be sure but -- or even more aware of the luminance noise, because we set Smart Sharpen to affect just the luminance of the image and not the color. So we didn't really draw forth much more color noise. The color noise we are seeing is the color noise we saw on the first place, but we are drawing all kinds of luminance noise out of here. So what do we do about that? Well we apply Reduce Noise as an independent Smart Filter and then we swap the order of the filters as we'll see in the next exercise.

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about Photoshop CS5 One-on-One: Mastery .

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Q: The instructions for installing the dekeKeys don't work on my computer (which is running Mac OS X Lion). Is there an update to these?
A: The dekeKeys distributed with this course will still work for Lion. You just need to add them to a slightly different folder than in previous versions of OS X.

Open a new Finder window and choose Go > Go to Folder. Type the following file path exactly as written below. Copying and pasting may result in an error.

~/Library/Application Support/Adobe/Adobe Photoshop CS5/Presets/Keyboard Shortcuts

Move and/or copy/paste the dekeKeys to this folder and follow the rest of the instructions as outlined in the video, "Installing the dekeKeys keyboard shortcuts."
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