Unsharp vs High Pass

Discussion in 'Photographic Discussions' started by Dmitri, Apr 10, 2010.

  1. Dmitri

    Dmitri No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Any opinions?

    I find high pass to be so much better and cleaner than USM that I don't understand why people still recommend USM. What am I missing?
     
  2. Arch

    Arch Damn You! Staff Member Supporting Member

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    They are in fact very similar, but i agree you do get more control from high pass, usually because it increases edge sharpness rather than blanket sharpening the whole image, which can lead to noise issues.
    Also it is on a seperate layer which makes High pass easier to re-edit.
    However a large majority of the time... unless you are a perfectionist, your average snaps will benefit just as well from USM.
     
  3. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I agree. I like & use High Pass sharpening because you put it on it's own layer, but I'll use USM or smart sharpening when it's not as important.

    I remember reading an article that explained High Pass sharpening, and also showed how it is basically the exact same process and UnSharp Mask. It's really only the process and the control-ability that is different.
     
  4. Dominantly

    Dominantly TPF Noob!

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    Meh, I use all 3 on the same images sometimes (albeit in different sections of the image).
    I find highpass to be very helpful with doing a portrait edit, it can give you the ability add definition back to the face after some smoothing (IE pores).

    You can use any sharpening on it's own layer (in a way), all you have to do is copy the image layer, then sharpen the one on top, and use the opacity slider to allow the amount of sharpening you find desirable through, then merge the visible layers.
     
  5. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    I rarely sharpen globally, save for capture sharpening in ACR, and like Dominantly often use several sharpening techniques in the same image.

    USM doesn't work equally well on all images, nor does HP.

    Have you explored LAB sharpening and/or Luminosity sharpening?

    How about using USM to enhance local contrast in an image, another sharpening technique.

    Unsharp mask was first used in Germany in the 1930's as a means to increase the acutance (apparent sharpness) of a photographic image, so it's been around for a long time for a reason.

    Used properly, and on the right images, it works really well.
     
  6. Garbz

    Garbz No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Didn't you start this same discussion before Dimitri? http://www.thephotoforum.com/forum/beyond-basics/180134-high-pass-overlay-vs-unsharp-mask.html

    On that note though, the only thing that you're missing is that these are only two of many more possible sharpening methods. Nik has a sharpening plugin for Photoshop that produces excellent results as well.

    Though I think the reason people will recommend USM is because of the method, not the end. USM is easy to understand. High pass is more than 1 click, requires layers, and has no preview option.
     
  7. Dmitri

    Dmitri No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    oh wow, I guess I did. You remember what I did better than I do, Garbz! lol
     
  8. Garbz

    Garbz No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Pure fluke actually. Someone the other day said I say crap and I had to dig out that thread to prove him that I didn't :)

    Mind you keep it going. Not like the last time it turned into much of a discussion. I would still be interested on the views of others here.
     
  9. NateS

    NateS TPF Noob!

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    I'm sure it's my technique, but every time I use High Pass Sharpening my photos look horribly oversharpened....I have to reduce the opacity to a point that there is almost no sharpening to get it looking right.

    I actually hardly ever sharpen my photos and when I do it's a small amount of USM when I do. I more often than not only use Nik Color Efex plugin of Tonal Contrast. This seems to somehow do a type of sharpening while also adding conrast....adds just the right amount. I usually do it selectively on just the focal point unless it's a landscape and usually anywhere from 60-100 percent opacity.
     
  10. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    That is just a normal part of HP sharpening...at least the way I learned how to do it. I think that I usually end up with an opacity around 20-30%.
     
  11. hqphotography

    hqphotography TPF Noob!

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    I use high pass only for small thumbnail versions that I post on my website.
     

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