So sharp you just may cut yourself…
Earlier in the week (Read the article Extinguishing Software Anguish) I discussed just how powerful Photoshop is and how it may be the only piece of software you will ever need. This week’s Free Tutorial surely emphasizes the notion that Photoshop alone, if you know how to use it, can be more powerful than any add-on plugin. As you know, I do take requests for tutorials and this week’s tutorial was requested by my friend, and fellow HDR Insider, Jeffrey.
In an email, he mentioned it would be great to see the different ways to sharpen an image in Photoshop all in one nice little-packaged tutorial. I thought this was a great idea and put together a rather extensive tutorial that showcases 6 methods to sharpen in Photoshop. I don’t expect you to memorize each of these methods so I have included an Actions package with the 6 Methods all done for you!
This is quite a long tutorial so here are the Time Stamps if you would like to skip around:
|Introduction to Sharpening||00:45|
|Method 1: Unsharp Mask||02:43|
|Method 2: High Pass Sharpen||06:56|
|Method 3: Unsharp Mask + High Pass Sharpen||10:30|
|Method 4: Adobe Camera Raw as Filter||13:01|
|Method 5: Sharpen Tool + High Pass||17:11|
|Method 6: High Pass + Protection Measures||20:04|
You may get mixed results on a single layer palette.
This is just awesome!!
Thanks a million Blake for sharing.
You are welcome Jeanette! Glad you liked it 🙂
That was a very useful and informative video, thanks.
Also thanks for the actions – they are going to get some use!
All the best,
Wow! Clear concise and packed with really useful information. Fantastic resource.
Sweet! Thanks for the feedback Barry!
A big THANK YOU Blake for all your excellent advice and sharing your actions, keep up your great work as it’s really appreciated.
🙂 you rock! I will keep pumping out tutorials if you keep watching them!
Thank you for sharing. It will help me a lot.
Awesome! Glad I could help!
Thank You Thank You for this…great explanation, very clear stepwise approach and the whys are included. Also thanks for the actions…very valuable.
🙂 So great to hear the cordial feedback. I do appreciate every word! Thanks for watching.
Very interesting tutorial on sharpening techniques in Photoshop. I did not realize there were so many ways to sharpen in Photoshop. Thank you so much for the Actions.
Thanks so much, Blake! You just expanded my knowledge of sharpening a bunch and I will be using some or all of these methods going forward. Also, thanks for the actions to speed things up!
No problem, Don! Glad to hear it especially from someone as sharp as yourself on post processing!
Absolutely rocks, Blake. This went way beyond what I’d hoped you’d do. Fantastic resource. I have used all of these at some point or another but to see it all done in a single tutorial and compared, makes this really sink in so much better. Thanks a million.
🙂 Sweet! So glad I could come through! It was a great suggestion for a tutorial , thanks for bringing it up.
Terrific tutorial, absolutely the best I’ve seen on sharpening methods. Thank you very much for providing and sharing your actions. Your site and tutorials are the most informative and filled with excellent knowledge and tips for a better workflow.
Wow! I am humbled! Thank you very much for watching, you rock. I am smiling ear to ear!
Enjoyed this a lot, you are such a great teacher. I can’t wait to try the actions! Dee
Thank you so much Dee, I appreciate those words of encouragement!
Awesome tutorial Blake,
Thanks for sharing.
Anytime! It is my pleasure!
I’m very impressed with this video tutorial, Blake. It’s solid, has great content, and stimulates the viewer to extend their thinking about how to use Photoshop tools in their daily work. And it’s thorough and well presented. Thanks so much for sharing.
Wow! Thank you so much for the great feedback and watching the tutorial. You give me more reason to “take on the empire” 🙂 You rock!
Very helpful video. It is above and beyond what I ever expected to get for free. You have a loyal fan for life.
Woo hoo! I’m so happy to hear that!
Thanks so much for both the tutorial and the actions. I mostly use Lightroom and only now starting out in PS. My challenge now will be deciding on which one of your 6 methods to use and when one is best to use over other. Cheers.
That is the tough part! Think Global or local, what do you want sharpened and what it the quickest/easiest solution for that.
excellent tutorial and the action makes it very simple to apply!
Thanks for watching!
Great tutorial. A lot to digest. You mention not to sharpen for Facebook. Does the upload size make any difference? If you upload at 2048 on the longest edge, that still doesn’t need to be sharpened?
I usually upload at 960 on the longest side and no sharpening. Facebook does that in its resizing algorithm. For Facebook Dimension sizes, check out this clever FB page: https://www.facebook.com/PagesSizesDimensions/timeline
Excellent tutorial and a great summary of the techniques in Photoshop. Thanks for the also for the Actions. Many times I view a tutorial and forget about it if I don’t use the techniques periodically. The Actions serve as a reminder when considering sharpening alternatives.
Thanks, Rick! The Actions help me a lot when I forget one from the other.
Blake – Thank you so much for this great tutorial and action set. I’ve played around with various sharpening methods, but I never really knew what the heck I was doing, or what some of the sliders were actually doing to my photos. I was essentially just guessing as to how to sharpen my images. Thanks to your tutorial, I have a much better understanding of what sharpening is, when and when not to apply sharpening. I feel like you removed some blinders that I had on when it came to sharpening. Bravo.
Guessing with sharpening, that’s like stabbing in the dark… no pun intended… Guessing with sharpening can be dangerous, it could potentially be sharpening unwanted areas like shadow noise and such. Glad I could help!
Thanks a lot for all your tutors!:)
Thanks for all your great tutorials Blake.I have downloaded your actions and will try them out now….thanks again.
Blake…just got in from a trip and watched this…OUTSTANDING!!! Absolutely great…again, thank you is not enough for all the work you do. You have made this sharping subject very understandable…and again thank you…
BLAKE…I have just run through all of the Actions, except No. 4. All are great and I will use them at one time or the other…I have to tell you again, OUSTANDING. I especially like No. 5…Selective Sharpening. I can’t say enough…thank you…
Sweet! Glad I could help you with sharpening. and I appreciate the cordial feedback!
Another fab tutorial Blake.
My own approach to sharpening is to convert the end image to a smart object and run smart sharpen across it and mask out as desired. Next I re-rasterise the image and run high pass in overlay mode not linear light. Going to have to have a look at that mode and see the differences.
One question though that you didn’t address – aside from the “do I sharpen or not” one you’ve introduced another question of “which method do I use and when?” – so do you have a guide to which method to use and when – or is it simply whatever suits ones workflow best?
Which method to use and when is two fold.
1. A matter of taste and how much sharpening you need.
2. The image. Some images could use a global sharpen, especially if all of the elements are on the same focal plane (a picture of a brick wall). Other times you need to be really selective when the focal plan is on one specific part of the image and the rest is on another focal plane. This is where selective sharpening becomes your Best Friend.
Great summary of sharpening workflows. I enjoy watching your tutorials and highly recommend them to others. f leblanc
Thanks for the recommendation! That rocks!
I am watching this now. I am still using PSE 11 and 12. Will these actions work in PSE? Bev
I do not believe they will. I do not have PSE to test them.
Thanks, Blake, for another great tutorial. It has taken me a week or so to find time to watch it and I found it very helpful. I like how you explained the actions. Often we run actions and are in the dark as what to do to make changes.
It is very important that Actions come with a video tutorial. Everyone creates actions differently and it is hard to know what was in the creators head when they made them. I typically will not provide an action without some sort of video or written direction.
I tried to install the actions but they do not appear after starting PS CC. I put the file in the Adobe PS CC\Actions folder. Is this correct?
Thanks for the great tutorial!
The easiest way is to just double click the .atn file. That will automatically install it into PS CC.
Blake, great tutorial, and thanks for the Actions.
. I have been watching your tutorial “6 Ways to Sharpen in Photoshop Without Plugins”. Towards the end, when you are demonstrating the actions, you play the action, and the first thing it does is create a new layer, and continues with action. Whenever I hit play, with some other actions as well, I get the message – The command “Merge Visible” is not available. When I hit Continue, the action finishes, but I do not have the original layer. If I start off with duplicating the layer, I don’t get the message, but I will have 1 or 2 extra layers. Would you mind explaining why this is happening, and what I can do about it? By the way, I am using Photoshop CC 2014.
Thanking you in advance,
Thank you, thank you, thank you Blake !!! Your tutorials are one of the best explained and rich of details. And I really thank you again for sharing your actions !
You are very welcome and thank YOU for the cordial feedback! I do appreciate it!
Thank you Blake for this Sharpening Video. FANTASTIC! I have always wondered what the best sharpening method is and now I know. Thanks again!
Thank you so much from Taiwan, the sharpen method you teach is outstanding and useful. Thank you again.
Thanks Blake it’s a very good tutorial on sharpening I really enjoyed watching all the ways of sharpening and its confused me which one I would like to use. I am used of Lightroom but not Photoshop. I think I have to learn Photoshop which is better than Lightroom. Thanks again nice presentation hope to see more in the future.
Hey Blake, one of the best, simplest and most understandable tutorials that I’ve ever seen. Had no idea or thought that there were 6 different ways to sharpen in Photoshop and you showed use how to actually sculpt with it as well. I’ve loosely been into easier ways of learning and teaching for most of my 70 years and I find this tutorial amazing. I’ve downloaded many tutorials of a number of things, but this is the first that has inspired me to subscribe. And you gave us Actions too! Blake, you rock.
Wiw! Thank you so much for the compliments 🙂 I am very glad you got some good takeaways from this one. Welcome to f.64 Academy!
Wow! Thank you so much for the compliments 🙂 I am very glad you got some good takeaways from this one. Welcome to f.64 Academy!
Fantastic! Thank you.
Very educative and after trying, all versions based on High Pass + Linear light, it is very amazing and impressive to see the results.
I am from a non-speaking country, Blake you are great, but your talking is like a river during rainy season. What a flow!
Tanks again. Well done.
Blake, why didn’t you include Smart Sharpen in this tutorial? Is there something about that filter that you don’t like or that you think we should avoid?
Great question, Steve. I chose not to show Smart Sharpen because it is very slow on high res images and by the time you are done with it, it’s less effective than the other methods when combined with masks and blend options.
You are excellent presenter, and developed some tremulous videos, and actions for PS. I rate you in the upper 10% + for video presenters. Your video on sharpening is the best. Keep up the great work.
Good grief! This is quite an awesome video! Thank you for sharing your expertise.
🙂 Thanks! I appreciate the feedback. It was a fun one to put together.
Thanks a lot, Blake, for your great advice! I’m really improving my workflow and IQ!
Thanks so much for this video. It is very intelligent and enabling, to counter for the occasions when I don’t quite get the focus right.
I stumbled acroos your vodeos when I started to explore Adobe Portfolio, as an alternative to my current one.You instructions were easy to follow and I am working on changing over to Portfolio.
I’ve watched some of your many other videos on Youtube and I am very impressed (and much better skilled) with the knowledge and clarity with which you cover the key information.
Thanks Blake i am only now getting to see this tutorial and i realise that i knew nothing, all those plugins that i never worked out how to use can all go in the bin! One question i have and that is camera shake is there a way to correct of make it less? Thanks my friend. Ed
Lots you can do without plugins! Unfortunately, unless you shoot on a tripod, there isn’t much you can do about camera shake in post processing. You can try a High Pass Sharpen set pretty high, but it may just artifact a blurry photo rather than sharpen it up.
Wonderful tutorial, learned a lot — thanks so much for sharing!
Thanks Blake for sharing.
Wow-What a great tutorial. Who needs plug_ins when they have Blake Rudis?
good job Black realy intrasted
Very Good Teacher Much Detail Highly Recommend
Thank you very much.
Wow! Thank you for this tutorial! If this is free, I can only imagine the value in your Creative Live class!
Thanks 🙂 It should be a good one. I can’t wait to teach there.
This stuff is amazing I have learnt so much.
I have only ever used the unsharpen mask and High Pass – without protecting the highlights 🙁 my bad it seems.
What could my images have been??
Thanks for the Good work .
Another outstanding video on sharpening, plus the action I downloaded and installed in PS CC.
Thanks again for great video on sharpening.
Will these sharpening techniques work for video?
Probably not since they are taken from a stamp an not from an adjustment layer.
There aren’t enough hours in a day to absorb all of the great info you provide but I keep trying. Thanks so much!
çok çok tesekkürler 🙂
thank you very very much for this tutorial
Thanks for sharing, awesome tut
Hi Blake, awesome tutorial, thanks. I have a question for you on the various methods. So, in your opinion which of these would be the best for huge enlargements? Most folks only sharpen for web but what about when you are printing? I’m talking about sizes larger than 40″ where I don’t want to see fringing or crud on the image. Thanks for the help.
Who knew there were so many ways to sharpen in Photoshop. Then on top of all that great information we get actions to, wow Blake, thank you.
January 1, 2020, and totally delighted to find these actions and your clear explanation.
2020 and still interesting.
Blake, you are the King of Blenf-iff!
Thanks for the clear explanation!
🙂 thanks! I really appreciate it! I LOVE BLEND IF!