Sharpening in Photoshop. A quick and easy tip

We all have our pet ways of sharpening photos and with most new cameras having in built anti shake capabilities we perhaps don’t have to worry quite so much about it. However most of us will have older photos we want to spruce up a bit and the problem comes when you start to get little halos appearing as you apply sharpening. The method I use was explained to me by a pro 4 or 5 years ago as being the way most professionals go about it. It is known as Lab Color sharpening.

Open your photo and go into the Channels palette (Window>Channels) and you’ll see that your photo – which is RGB – is made up of three colours – Red, Green and Blue.

OK, now go Image>Mode>Lab Color. Nothing will happen but take another look in the Channels palette and you’ll see it has changed. There is now an “a” channel, a “b” channel and a “Lightness” channel. Because you selected Lab Color you have separated the detail, so now click on Lightness and your photo will change to black/white. Go to Filter>sharpen>unsharp mask and sharpen this black/white image. This is the really clever bit because you are not sharpening the colour (which causes the halos). I set the unsharp mask to 100 (yes, really!) and you can even repeat the process if you feel your image is still not sharp enough.

When you’re done go back to Image>Mode, then RGB colour and your picture will change back to full colour.

After you’ve done this a couple of times to get used to it why not convert it to an ACTION, thereafter just one click is all you’ll need!

Peter

Sharpening in Photoshop. A quick and easy tip

georgieboy98

YANCHEP, Australia

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