Photog Chris's Blog

got a camera and photoshop, fun times

Basics – High Pass Filter

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High Pass Sharpening

I am starting a new set of post simply called “Basics“. Nothing too fancy, just basic tools you should know that can help you with your images. This is a Photoshop Tutorial but can be adapted to other programs.

For many years I used the Unsharp Mask filter for sharpening an image. Did I say years? Closer to Decades. I have never really liked it, so I never really mastered it. Recently I learned of a new tool. Nothing to buy, it has always been in Photoshop and is something I have never had a use for till now. It is the High Pass filter. Don’t have a High Pass filter? Take a look here.

Also, in full disclosure, I learned this technique from the flickr HDR group.

High Pass Sharping

Take a look at this untouched image

Squirrel - Original

Not bad but a bit soft. Here we can use the High Pass filter to sharpen things somewhat. Duplicate your layer and apply Filters > Other > High Pass. Adjust your Radius slider so that little to no color showing. You should see mainly outlines as below.

High Pass Filter

High Pass Filter

Now set your Blend Mode to Vivid Light.

Blend Mode to Vivid

And here is a 50/50 view showing a before and after

Left Sharpened - Right Orignal

Wow, quite a difference hmmm? You can always reduce the level of sharpening by reducing the opacity of the High Pass layer.

Wait, there is more. What if you wanted a classic Soft Focus. Kind of dreams light. Lets try a different style here, follow the pictures

Hands, Untouched

Duplicate layer and High Pass radius 6 (some color)

Image > Adjustments > Invert on High Pass layer

Set Blend Mode to Soft Light. Fini

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Written by photogchris

December 27, 2009 at 3:48 pm

Posted in Basics, Tutorials

Tagged with , , ,

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