Nov 8, 2004

The Ultimate Digital Photo Sharpening Technique

by Fred Miranda

What makes an image appear to be sharp? According to David Blatner, writer of Real World Adobe Photoshop 6, "The human visual system depends to a great degree on edges. Simply put, our eyes pass information into our brain, where every detail is quickly broken down into "edge" or "not edge." An image may have great contrast and color balance, but without good edge definition, we simply see it as less lifelike." As a photographer, I strive to produce images that replicate the moment that occurred during the time it was taken. My goal is to make my pictures as lifelike as possible, and therefore sharpness is always an essential element.

A majority of photographers still use some sort of unsharp mask filter to increase the appearance of sharpness in their digital or scanned film images. Many of us know how Photoshop's unsharp mask (USM) works and how to get the best results from it. Although USM is a valuable tool in our digital darkroom, there are alternative tools available to us that not only provide better results, but are easier to use.

The answer is called EdgeSharpen. Learn how to fully exploit this excellent sharpening techique here.