Sharpening your pictures is an important step, whether for print or for web. It is also a pretty simple thing to do, but confusing for those just getting started. So, I am going to tackle this in a series, much like my clipping masks series, starting basic and progressively getting more complicated.
For this first tutorial in the series, I am teaching about the simplest sharpening technique, in my opinion, and my favorite – the high pass filter.
Steps to sharpen for print are:
- Completely edit your image…I mean be THROUGH with editing including cropping; sharpening is the last step you take
- Flatten your layers and make a duplicate layer (control/command + j)
- Go to Filters, Other, High Pass
- When the radius box comes up, move the slider until you start to see white around the edges of face/skin (almost like a halo) and then back it back down until it is almost gone. Hit okay.
- Change the layer blend mode to Soft Light (some use Overlay, but I like Soft Light)
- View your image at no smaller than 50% zoom, turn off the high pass layer, then back on to see the sharpening effect. If hair and eye lashes seem to be glistening, lower the layer opacity.
- Use a layer mask to cover up areas where the sharpening is too much, if needed.
- Flatten and save.
Steps to sharpen for web are:
- Use your Undo History (located under Window in menu) and go back to your crop
- Go to Image, Resize, Image Size and change resolution to 72 and the width or height to be whatever you need (no more than 720 pixels high/wide for Facebook)
- Duplicate the layer and follow the same steps as above except the radius will be much smaller.
Below is a video tutorial walking you through these steps.