Sharpening your photographs in 3 steps with Photoshop your photographs in 3 steps with Photoshop

This is the very first tutorial I write for The-Phlog, that’s why I think it should be something important and what could be more important than producing really sharp shots. Among most amateur photographers this is a pretty big problem, although you can solve this without much trouble.

Before post processing your shots

One important thing I should mention before you start editing your photographs, is that you have to follow some rules while shooting to get the sharpest possible results. Therefore I’ll write an extra tutorials shortly after this one, showing you how to take sharp-as-fuck photographs. As you probably can guess, you’ll need some tools for this. But let’s start with the editing now.

Step 1

It’s import to see what you are doing, so just open your photograph and zoom in to about 50% like showing in the picture below. You can zoom in and out with the shortcut STRG – + and STRG – – or just STRG – mouswheel up / down.

Step 1 - Opening your photograph

Step 1 – Opening your photograph

Step 2

Now go to Filter > Sharpen > Unsharp Mask

Step 2 - Sharpening filter

Step 2 – Sharpening filter

Step 3

Once you open the Unsharp Mask filter, you’ll see 3 sliders. Amount controls the sharpening-strength, Radius controls how many pixels are affected around a contour (for example black/white). Threshold is a bit confusing, the less the value, the more intensive the sharpening effect.

Standard-Values for landscape shots are: Amount: 120%, Radius: 1,0, Threshold: 3

Step 3 - Sharpening your image

Step 3 – Sharpening your image

There are different settings for different purposes of course, here are some examples:

Web-Sharpening: Amount: 200% Radius: 0,3 Threshold: 0
Maximum Sharpening: Amount: 65% Radius: 4,0 Threshold: 3
Sharpening for portraits: Amount: 75% Radius: 2,0 Threshold: 3


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Author Description

Christian Möhrle

Photographing landscapes since 2009, trying to help out the lovely photography community with tutorials, workshops and more

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