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Sharpen a Close-Up Photograph with in Photoshop

There are always multiple methods of achieving any task in Photoshop, and this is true for sharpening your macro or close-up image. One trick, which many photographers prefer, enables you to sharpen an image without using a sharpening filter. Instead, it requires you to apply the High Pass filter to an image and adjust its blending mode according to how sharp you wish the image to be.

Follow these steps to sharpen an image by using the High Pass filter:

1

Shoot several different focal points to use Auto-Blend Layers.

The best way to create sharp images is to start by getting your subject in focus and capturing the shot without any motion blur or camera shake.

2

Pop open an image that you feel could use some postproduction sharpening.

If you’re working on an image file with multiple layers, you need to either flatten the image or simultaneously press Shift+Option+Command+N+E to merge all layers to a new layer.

3

Duplicate the flattened layer (or the new merged layer).

You will now have one image to work with.

4

Apply a High Pass filter.

Select Filter→Other→High Pass, keeping the amount between 2 and 4 (depending on how much contrast you wish to create between edges, 2 being less and 4 being more.)

5

Now change the High Pass layer’s blending mode to hard light, overlay, or soft light.

As the figure shows, hard light maximizes the level of sharpening; overlay sharpens less than hard light; and soft light provides the least sharpening.

6

Adjust the opacity of the High Pass layer or create a layer mask.

This gives you even more control over how much or which areas of your image you sharpen.

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