Sharpen Your Nature Images with Photoshop Elements

By Doug Sahlin

Nature and landscape photos captured by a digital camera are a little soft. This has nothing to do with the camera lens but has everything to do with the camera sensor. Fortunately, you can sharpen your digital images in Photoshop Elements using the Adjust Sharpness command.

Photoshop Elements has other commands to sharpen images, but the Adjust Sharpness command does a better job of identifying edges, which means you won’t end up sharpening noise or random pixels that shouldn’t be sharpened. To sharpen a photo using the Adjust Sharpness command, follow these steps:

1In the Organizer, select the image you want to edit and choose Edit Quick from the Fix drop-down menu.

This opens the image in the Edit Quick workspace.

2Zoom to 100 percent magnification.

You can use the Zoom tool’s 1:1 button or the keyboard shortcut Ctrl+Alt+0 (Windows) or Cmd+Option+0 (Macintosh) to zoom to 100 percent. When you sharpen an image, you should always view the image at 100 percent magnification.


3Choose Enhance→Adjust Sharpness.

The Adjust Sharpness dialog appears.

4Specify the Amount value.

You can use the slider to select a value or enter the value in the text field. This value determines the amount of sharpening that’s applied to the image. As you drag the slider, the image updates in real time. If any halos appear on the edges, you’ve oversharpened the image. The value you use depends on your subject, the camera lens, and your personal taste. When you see something you like, stop dragging the slider.

Deselect the Preview check box to disable the preview of the sharpening on your original image, which enables you to see the unsharpened image. Select the check box to see the effects of the sharpening on your image.

5Specify the Radius value.

This value determines the distance from each edge to which the sharpening is applied. If you specify too low a value, the sharpening effect will not be noticeable; too large a value, and halos appear around the edges.

6Choose an option from the Remove drop-down menu.

Your choices are Gaussian Blur, Lens Blur, and Motion Blur. Lens Blur is the best option for digital photographs. However, you can use Motion Blur if you moved the camera while taking the picture. When you choose Motion Blur, you can specify the angle by dragging a slider. Drag the slider until you see the sharpest image possible. Use Gaussian Blur for close-ups.

7Select the More Refined check box.

This option processes the command slower for more accurate results.

8Click OK to sharpen the image.