Thursday, June 13, 2013 - Looking Sharp With Photoshop's High Pass Filter. ~ June 2013 - Looking Sharp With Photoshop's High Pass Filter. ~ June 2013

June 2013

Looking Sharp With Photoshop's High Pass Filter.

If you're new to Photoshop and still experimenting with its many wonderful features, something you really do need to try out are the filters. These tools can improve an existing picture or create special effects.

We set one of our staff members on a little 'play time' with filters project recently. Having previously worked in a field where a rudimentary understanding of Photoshop was all that was required, there are tools she can find quite easily crop, clone stamp, lasso, and eraser. The rest, including filters, are a bit of a mystery. So, throwing caution to the wind she recently started clicking on filters and had some fun. She describes one result here:

"The first thing I discovered when checking out Photoshop filters was the variety. There are dozens of options to retouch, enhance or alter an image. Something that caught my eye, however, was a filter that would sharpen a photo. It seemed a choice worth investigating. It's called the High Pass filter, a versatile little tool the experts assured me can sharpen, soften or create contrast in images.

The photo I chose from was #293016 showing the statues on Easter Island. Like sentries lined up for duty, the subjects present an impressive sight in what was already a nice shot. I was curious, however, to see how it would look if it was just a big sharper. After opening the photograph in Photoshop, I created a Duplicate Layer, which is named Layer 1.

Moving to the blend mode of the duplicate layer I selected 'Overlay'.


This raises the contrast significantly in the photo but it's only temporary.

Under Filter, I next chose 'Option' > 'High Pass', then set the Radius to 1.7 pixels using the slider to sharpen the image. Any higher radius resulted in a 'halo' quality around the image which should be avoided.

To sharpen the image even further I changed 'Overlay' in the blend mode to 'Hard Light'. If you prefer a little less you can choose the 'Soft Light' option instead.


Below you can see the before and after results. It seems to me that the ability to make this change, in just a few quick steps, is quite a beneficial one when working with images."


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