After your image has the right contrast and color, and you fix any flaws, you’re ready to work on the overall clarity of that image. Although you may have fixed the nitpicky little blemishes with the healing tools, if your image suffers from an overall problem, like dust, scratches, or artifacts (blocky pixels or halos), you may need to employ the help of a filter.

After you totally clean up your image, your last chore is to give it a good sharpening. Why wait until the bitter end to do so? Sometimes, while you’re improving the contrast and color and getting rid of flaws, you can reduce the clarity and sharpness of an image.

So, you want to be sure that your image is as soft as it’s going to get before you tackle your sharpening tasks. On the other hand, also be aware that sharpening increases contrast, so depending on how much of your image you’re sharpening, you may need to go back and fine-tune it by using the lighting adjustments available within Photoshop Elements 10.

Finally, with all this talk about sharpening, you may find it strange that you may also need to occasionally blur your image. You can use blurring to eliminate unpleasant patterns that occur during scanning, to soften distracting backgrounds to give a better focal point, or even to create the illusion of motion.