Join ePHOTOzine, the friendliest photography community.
Upload photos, chat with photographers, win prizes and much more for free!
Introduction To The Unsharp Mask Tool - How to use the Unsharp Mask Tool to improve your photos.
Sharpening an image in Photoshop Elements is made easy with the Unsharp Mask Tool and this tutorial will show you how to use it.
When you've opened your image, we'll be using the shot above, duplicate (you should always do this so you have the original to go back to if something drastically goes wrong). To do this go to Layer>Duplicate Layer or drag the open layer over the new layer icon. Next, go to: Enhance>Unsharp Mask (if you're doing this in CS4, the path to get to the Unsharp Mask is slightly different).
Here's what the three sliders are and what they change:
- Amount – sharpness as a percentage.
- Radius – is how many pixels wide the sharpness will effect (similar to adjusting the paintbrush tool, it gets larger and smaller).
- Threshold - How much sharpness is given. A higher threshold will create an image which looks harder and visa versa.
Pay attention to the image's edges to make sure there's no halos appearing. This is where a white line appears around objects, which in some cases can make them appear quite cartoon like. This tool can also enhance any noise present in the image but adjusting the Threshold can help you reduce this. Make sure your changes aren't too glaringly obvious either as this can spoil your image.
Once you're happy with the changes click OK and they will be applied.
Close up showing the shot before the adjustment and after:
Find out more about Nikon's products by clicking these links: