Photography Tutorial Editing Part 3: Sharpening

Laurie here again  talkin’ about how to pump-up your photos. If you have been following along, we covered my first step of “Level Correction,” and secondly “Noise Reduction”. Now for our final step, we cover “Sharpening.”

I am using Photoshop Elements 12.


Here is the Autumn photo of my daughter after the level adjustment and noise reduction from our two previous discussions:

3-1 Sharpening an image is so easy and the results are amazing; you are going to love the final image! At the top toolbar in Photoshop Elements go to “Enhance” and then “Unsharpen” as seen in the image below.

Photo 3-2

An Unsharpen Mask box will appear, as seen in the image below. Here you will adjust the settings for Amount, Radius and Threshold.

Amount: Determines how much to increase the contrast of pixels. For high-resolution printed images, an amount between 150% and 200% is usually best.

Radius: Specifies the number of pixels to sharpen around edges. For high-resolution images, a radius between 1 and 2 is a good setting.

Threshold: Determines how far different pixels must be from the surrounding area before they are considered edge pixels and sharpened. To avoid introducing noise (in images with flesh tones, for example), experiment with Threshold values between 2 and 20. The default Threshold value (0) sharpens all pixels in the image.

Here are my usual settings: (But, feel free to play with the settings to adjust the image to your preference.)
Amount: 150
Radius: 1.5
Threshold: 2

Photo 3-3

And here we are, we’ve completed the pumping-up of our image! Yeah! Below I have shared my original image prior to adjusting the levels, reducing the noise and sharpening the image, and then the final image.Before After Final


You can review everything we have shared by checking out Photography Tutorial: Editing part 1 – Level Adjustment and Photography Tutorial Editing Part 2: Noise

Thank you for following along and happy editing to you all!

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