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As Ansel Adams once said, "The negative is the equivalent of the composer's score, and the print the performance." Now, with Photoshop CS4 for Photographers: Desktop Printing Techniques, creating breathtaking prints is within reach. In this course, photographer and instructor Chris Orwig teaches techniques and workflows for crafting powerful and enduring images that bring the photographer's vision to life. From producing a business card to visiting a working press, Chris covers everything photographers need to know to achieve unique, compelling results from the printing process. Exercise files accompany the course.
In this movie, we are going to take a look at another sharpening technique and it's called the high pass sharpening technique. What we are going to do first is resize this photograph of my daughter, Annika, in her mermaid costume. She was getting ready for Halloween here. So I'll navigate up to our Image > Image Size dialog window to see what kind of information we have. We have quite a bit of information and let's say that we want to print this at 8x10. I'll go ahead and choose 8 here and as I do that, I get this 8x12 dimension. I'll click OK to apply that, making sure Bicubic Sharper (best for reduction) is turned on. Click OK.
Next then, I'll grab the Crop tool, press the C key and my Width is going to be 10 and my Height is going to be 8, 300 pixels per inch. Click-and-drag to create that shape. The reason we are printing this as an 8x10, let's say, because it needs to fit in an 8x10 frame. All right, well, so far so good. Now let's double-click the Zoom tool to see what kind of detail we have. Now when we do that, we see that we have pretty good detail in her face. Now the eyes are exactly sharp. The cheeks are a little bit more in focus than the eyes because we have this super shallow depth of field here. Although we are going to be able to make something of this.
So I'm going to zoom out a little bit, just so we can see the image while we are working on it. Then I'll press Command+J on a Mac, Ctrl+J on a PC to duplicate the Background layer and I'll name this new layer high pass. Next, we are going to navigate to our Filter pulldown menu and choose Other and then High Pass. Now High Pass sharpening works good in a number of different of situations. It works especially good when you want to do some edge sharpening or you want to do this really fine-tuned type of sharpening. All right. Well, I'll go ahead and migrate over on the image by clicking and dragging and I'm going to lower the Radius. What I'm looking for here is just see a faint kind of silhouette of the shape of the image. I'll go ahead and click OK to apply that.
Now one of the things that's happening with this particular image is if we zoom in, we now have a grayscale or close to a grayscale except here you can see there are these little color artifacts around the sparkles on her cheek. You can also see a little bit of color artifact in her skin. So before we actually leave this particular stage, we need to navigate to Image > Adjustments > Hue/Saturation or press Command+U on a Mac, Ctrl+U on a PC and desaturate this so we have no color here. Important step, many people miss that step. All right, so far we have applied the High Pass filter, we desaturated. Now what is next is we are going to take this to a blend mode of either Overlay or Soft Light. Overlay is going to be a little bit more of an intense sharpening effect. Soft Light a little bit less. So let's try Overlay, so you can actually see the effect. We will zoom in a little bit and then click on and off. Here is our before and then here is our after. Some nice, subtle, clean sharpening.
Now the nice thing about this, of course, is that we can mask off the areas that we don't want to have sharp. In my case, there are just few areas that I do want to have sharp. So I'll go ahead and hold down the Option key on a Mac, Alt key on a PC, click on the Layer Mask icon down there. That will then add a mask filled with black. So when you click on this typically, it creates a mask filled with white. If you hold down the Option key or that Alt key and click on that icon, we now have a mask filled with black. I'll grab my Brush tool and make this nice and big, paint with white. In this case, I'm going to paint with 100% Opacity because what I saw there, it looked pretty good on those eyes. I thought that looked phenomenal.
Those cheeks are already pretty nice and sharp, so I'll press the 5 key and just paint with 50% Opacity on the cheeks, just a touch of sharpening, a little bit on the lips there too. I'll make them look just a touch more glossy and a little bit on that hair as well, just for the fun of it. We will zoom in, so we can see how we are doing. Here is our before and our after. I'm going to zoom in even further, so you can actually see this. It's tricky to see it on the small movies. Here is our before and then after. So far so good. Now because I'm focusing on the eyes, I decide, you know what? I want to bring even more sharpening to these eyes. I want to get even more out of this. So in that case, I'm going to go ahead and merge these two layers to the topmost layer. I'm going to do that by way of shortcut. This is a handy shortcut. It's Shift+Option+Command+E, if you are on a Mac. On a PC, that's Shift+Alt+Ctrl+E.
That allows you to merge your underlying layers to the topmost layer. We will go ahead and name this layer high pass 2. Next, we are going to Filter > Other and High Pass. We are going to do this High Pass effect again. We are going to crank it up this time though, really high amount here. Click OK, desaturate it, Command+U on a Mac, Ctrl+U on a PC. Next, take our blend mode to Overlay. Now we have intense amount of sharpening there. But what we are going to do is just paint that into specific areas. So hold down the Option key on a Mac, Alt key on a PC, click on the Layer Mask icon. So it's filled with black, grab your Brush tool. You want a real small brush for this. A lot of times what's helpful is when you are doing this sharpening eyes, like this, you will want to try to bring in the sharpening amount. I'm going to bring it at 100% there. Bringing the sharpening amount by painting the direction of the eyes. So you can see here that I'm trying to kind of follow the way that the eye is actually working.
Now this highlight is going to be a little bit problematic. So I'll press the 4 key to go to 40% and I'll just sharpen this just a touch because that's going to look over-sharpened, if I go too far. There is my before and after on that eye. Go over here to this eye. Now that highlight, that's good enough. Actually, maybe 3 for 30%, still a little bit there. Press 0. That will take my Opacity to 100% and then I'll bring in some sharpness here. All right, let's zoom out a little bit, so we can see how that looks. Here is our before and then after. Some nice sharpening on those eyes. Again, before and after. Overall, here is our before and now our after. Very nice sharpening with that High Pass filter and combining that with some masking.
Just when I want to look at my before and after, make sure we are going in a good direction. That looks pretty good, I think, and we have successfully sharpened this photograph.
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