Most pictures are a bit blurrier than they should be. Whether that’s due to your lens, RAW processing, resizing, or other tasks of a digital workflow, your images need to be sharpened before you print or share them.
Adobe Photoshop and Elements both offer several options for sharpening. Much of the time, Smart Sharpen in Photoshop (or its cousin in Elements, Adjust Sharpness) is a great choice. But there’s also a dark-horse option, High Pass sharpening. It’s quick and simple to do, it doesn’t overly accentuate image noise, it won’t give you oversharpened, crunchy-looking edges, and it doesn’t sharpen areas of blur. Additionally, using this method gives your image a nice bit of contrast and snap.
High Pass sharpening is available in both Photoshop and Elements. I’ll show the technique using Elements, but it works well with either program.
Step 1: Begin by making a copy of the Background Layer. Duplicate it by clicking with your right mouse button on the Background Layer and choosing Duplicate Layer. If you’re on a Mac with a one-button mouse, hold down the Control key on your keyboard while you click. It’s not necessary to rename this new layer—just click OK.