Sharpening image with Unsharp mask in adobe Photoshop

One of the common use filters in Adobe Photoshop is the Unsharp mask filter. Now before you add this filter in you Adobe Photoshop you have to convert your background into a smart object and then you wanna make sure to view your image in 100%, for this use CTRL + 1 to zoom in and hold down the spacebar in order to navigate between important parts of the image.

Then go to toolbar > chose filter > chose Sharpen > Unsharp mask. Here you don’t choose Sharpen, Sharpen edges and Sharpen more because they don’t have the three dots that indicate that you have no controls.

Whenever you see the filter or any command in Adobe Photoshop that has the three dots, it indicates that you have another dialogue box or pop up in additional control. So Smart sharpen and Unsharpen mask is two most popular and here you are going to use the Unsharp mask.

A setting of the Unsharp mask in Adobe Photoshop

Let’s talk about the different settings of the Unsharp mask in Adobe Photoshop. When you add sharpening in your image you really just trying to before the eye and you are thinking is sharper and the way you do that is we add contrast along edges.

So when you apply the Unsharp mask, Adobe Photoshop looks for the edge in your file and it gives in one side of the edge will get darker and the other side will make a lighter and increase the contrast is going to trick your eyes thinking your image is sharper.

There are three different variables in the Unsharp mask tool menu :

  • Amount: The amount is how much contrast the Adobe Photoshop is going to add. So chose the appropriate parameters for how much darker the amount on one side of the edge and how much lighter the other side of the edge.
  • Radius: let’s move up to the Radius slider. When you increase the amount of the Radius you see the strong hallow on your edges. So anytime when you see a hollow in your image that tells you to Unsharp mask settings are too high.
  • Threshold: The Threshold slider can suppress the sharpening in areas that don’t have lots of contrast. Like if your image has a sky area or you have a portrait in a skin tone. When you increase the amount of Threshold slider you can see that all of the sharpenings in the sky or skin tone portrait will disappear. When you back the slider the sharping of the sky will go to low down.


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