Sharpening Photographic Images

This 35 page PDF tutorial details several basic sharpening techniques that form a foundation for sharpening photographic images.


Sharpening digital images is more of an art than a science. Almost any simple sharpening can help an image – especially in print – but true creative sharpening can put a final polish on a 2-D image that makes it seem more dimensional. Sharp images jump off the page. The techniques outlined here should take care of 90% of the digital photographer’s sharpening needs.

The Tutorial examines

Unsharp Mask - understanding radius, threshold and amount
Layer Sharpening - Overlay mode with High Pass filter
Layer Apply Modes - using Luminosity, Lighten and Darken modes
Advanced Blending Options - using advanced blending to control sharpening
Split Sharpening - making Lighten and Darken sharpening layers
Octave Sharpening - a special technique for intense sharpening

This is an intermediate level tutorial – the 35 page PDF steps through the construction 4 images but a basic understanding of layers and layer masks is helpful. The sample files for the tutorial are available as a separate download through a link in the PDF - you will need Aladdin's "Stuffit Expander" to decompress the sample files!

3.5 meg PDF - Download from Here