BetterPhoto Q&A
Category: New Questions

Photography Question 
Deborah Liperote
BetterPhoto Member Since: 2/8/2006

How much do you sharpen?

It's recommended that when you shoot digital that you need to sharpen your pictures. When using ps cs2 how uch would you say you sharpen your pics. do you use smart sharpen unsharp mask or do you just hit sharpen once or twice. I'm not talking about pictures that have problems. I mean the ones that look fine but just need that last teeking of crispness. What is your usual setting for sharpening all your standard pictures? thanks for replying in advance.

To love this question, log in above
2/20/2007 5:55:39 AM

doug Nelson   Digital captures and scans need sharpening. The tool for this is Unsharp Mask, unless full PS and Elements have greatly refined the Sharpen function. It used to be a meataxe effect, imparting halos to people who don't merit them.

I am experimenting with this method: Use Unsharp Mask to a degree that imparts a definite grittiness to your image. With, for example, an 8 x 10 at 300 ppi, give it settings of 250/2/0. Now go to Edit, Fade USM, and select Luminosity from the dropdowns. Fade your USM until you see no grittiness from the film grain (if from a scan), or the sharpening effect is barely perceptible. The process just described is an updated version of converting the image to Lab Color, applying USM to the Lightness channel and reconverting to RGB.

You can also mask areas such as sky to which you don't want sharpening applied.

To love this comment, log in above
2/20/2007 8:59:52 AM

Melissa  L. Zavadil
BetterPhoto Member Since: 2/26/2005
  I don't have a "normal" sharpening setting and I rarely use the auto sharpen setting.

I go into the sharpen and hit unsharp mask. I adjust the "amount" anywhere from 0-80 anymore than 80 I can definately see issues with the final prints. I adust the "radius" anywhere from 0-3 anymore than that seems to make the image weird. Basically from there I adjust the image until it looks good to my eye.

Hope this helps ??


To love this comment, log in above
2/20/2007 9:03:26 AM

Jenny D
BetterPhoto Member Since: 2/24/2006
  Hi Deborah, I use PS elements and I use the high pass filter to sharpen. I usually set it at 7 unless it's a portrait, then I set it a little lower...except for the eyes, which I sharpen a little more than the rest of the portrait. Hope that makes sense.

To love this comment, log in above
2/20/2007 10:34:33 AM

Suzanne Colson
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/31/2006
  I have Photoshop and I tend to use Unsharp mask. It depends on the subject in the photo as to what settings I use. For something like a building or a subject with very straight lines I will end up using a higher radius somewhere in the 2-4 range. For a 'living' object I tend to keep the radius between 0-2 otherwise the subject tends to look very harsh and unnatural. I slide the amount up and keep looking at the preview until I am satisfied.

Hope this helps....

To love this comment, log in above
2/20/2007 12:16:50 PM

doug Nelson   Remember that a jpg sized for screen viewing, such as one you'd post to betterphoto, need a lot less sharpening. Settings of 86/.6/2 work much of the time for me. Go to Edit/Fade USM if you have leaves, branches or other detail that look gritty.

To love this comment, log in above
2/21/2007 8:14:12 AM

Log in to respond or ask your own question.