High Pass Sharpen in Photoshop

High pass sharpen is one of many sharpen techniques in Photoshop. Pros of the high pass sharpen is flexibility. With high pass sharpen, you can adjust sharpness easily and you can use layer mask to sharpen only areas you want. For more understanding, please follow the step-by-step instruction below.


1. Open your image.

2. Drag “Background layer” over the new layer icon in order to duplicate it.

3. You will get the “Background copy”

4. Go to Filter>Other>High Pass

5. Adjust radius and the acceptable level of radius is around 1-5. You just only slide the bar and see the preview. If you use too high radius, your image will look unreal. For this case, I use the radius of 4.

6. Your image will look like this.

7. Go to the layer pallet and change mode to overlay.

8. This is the original image.

9. After changing to overlay mode, the photo look sharper.

10. Not only overlay mode, there are several mode that you may use to adjust sharpness of photos.

11. Change to “soft light” = soften image

12. Change to “hard light” = sharpen image

13. Change to “vivid light” = sharpen image

14. By reducing the Opacity, you can reduce level of sharpness. Sharpen must be applied to each image carefully. If sharpen is used too much, the photo may not look like the real one. It may look like the computer graphic photo instead.

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