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Another powerful way that you can sharpen an image in Photoshop, is by using the High Cast filter. In order to open this as a smart object, on the Mac you can Control click, on Windows right mouse click, and then choose Place in Photoshop. This opens the document and converts it into a smart object. Now, I'll choose the Filter menu, and then Other, and then High Pass. At first glance, you might think this is never going to create a sharper image; it looks like it's actually solarizing your image instead. But if we remember when we talked about the different blend modes, there was a whole group of blend modes, that actually removed 50% gray. So we're going to use the High Pass Filter, in combination with that Blend Mode, to remove all of this extra gray that we don't need. An then as we look at the image we can see what the high pass filter is doing. Basically it's looking for edges and it's making one side of the edge darker, and the other side of the edge lighter.
Let's click OK. And then to change the blend mode of the filter, remember we don't want to change the blend mode of the image, but the actual filter, will double click on the icon to the right of the filter name. We'll change the blend mode here to any of these blend modes in this grouping, because they're all going to get rid of that neutral 50% grey. Now most of the time you'll probably want to stick with either Overlay or Soft Light if we want to add more contrast we will add Overlay and then click OK.
Now that we have an accurate view of what this looks like with the filter on in the correct blend mode, we can double click on the name of the filter, and then we can change the radius. Until we get the exact amount of sharpening that we wan. But we definitely want to be viewing the image at 100%, because right now what I'm viewing is 50%. I'm only looking at every other pixel in the image. So in order to get the true effect of sharpening I'll want to use Command on the Mac or Wontrol on Windows and the plus icon in order to zoom in.
And of course if I want to look at a different area we use the space bar. And then I can pan around my image. Now as I move the radius, I'm getting the most accurate view of what this filter is going to look like when it's applied to this image. Click OK in order to apply it. And don't forget, you can paint the filter in and out of different areas. So if I only wanted a portion of the image to be sharp for example, maybe I was trying to sharpen someones eyes, but I didn't want their skin sharpened.
I could paint with black or white in my Smart Filter mask, in order to hide or reveal the filter.
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