SHARPENING YOUR PHOTOGRAPHS You sharpen photographs to either bring back the original crispness that gets lost during the correction process, or to help fix a photo that’s slightly out of focus. It is advisable to sharpen all your digital photographs. Always apply the sharpening after you have applied all the other effects to your image. Open the photo that you want to sharpen. As Elements displays your photo in different ways at different magnifications, it’s absolutely critical that you view your photo at 100% when sharpening. To ensure that you’re viewing at 100%, once your photo is open, double click on the zoom tool in the toolbox and you photo will jump to a 100% view. Open the photo you wish to sharpen. This is the location of the Zoom tool. Double click it now.
Your photo will now be magnified to 100%. Look at the Title bar to check the magnification.
To apply the sharpening click on the Enhance menu option now.
Now click on the Unsharp Mask option.
There are many sharpening filters available in Elements but the Unsharp Mask is the most suitable for sharpening photographs. Unsharp Mask is a traditional darkroom technique where you would make a blurred copy of the original photo and an “Unsharp” version to use as a mask to create a new photo whose edges appeared sharper.
When the Unsharp Mask dialog appears you’ll see three sliders.
The Amount slider determines the amount of sharpening applied to the photo. The Radius slider determines how many pixels out form the edge that the sharpening will affect. The Threshold slider determines how different a pixel must be from the surrounding area before it’s considered an edge pixel and sharpened by the filter.
Threshold works the opposite of what you might think, the lower the number, the more intense the sharpening effect. So what numbers do you enter? That will depend on how much sharpening you need to apply to the photo. For now apply the following setting to the Amount, Radius and Threshold.
Remember to use the Preview box to see the image before and after the sharpening.
Now click on the OK button to apply the sharpening to your photo. If you wish to see the image before you applied the sharpening and after you have applied the sharpening, after you have clicked the OK button then use the Undo and Redo icons on the toolbar,. Click on the Undo arrow now.
The sharpening has now been removed. Click on the Redo arrow now.
The sharpening has now been reapplied. Remember: sharpening should always be applied last.