Pro Sharpening

Pro Sharpening

This particular sharpening technique can only be done in the full-blown version of Photoshop (in other words, not in Elements), because it requires access to Photoshop's Channels palette (which Elements doesn't give you). So, if you have Photoshop, this is the method most widely used by pros because it lets you sharpen more without creating nasty halos and color artifacts which might otherwise occur when you use lots of sharpening. Here's how it's done:

Go under the Image menu, under Mode, and choose Lab Color.

Go to the Channels palette and click on the Lightness channel. (Note: This Lightness channel contains only the detail and not the color in the photo, which is why you sidestep some of the color problems you get by sharpening the full-color photo.)

Now apply the Unsharp Mask filter using the settings shown on the previous page.

Try applying the Unsharp Mask filter again, using the same settings. If your photo appears too sharp, before you do anything else, go under the Edit menu and choose Fade Unsharp Mask. In the Fade dialog, lower the Opacity slider to 50%, so you only get half-strength on the second application of the filter.

Now go back under the Image menu, under Mode, and choose RGB Color.

That's itpretty easy stuff once you know the secret, eh?

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