High pass filter for sharpening?

rknrl

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So I always use Unsharp Mask but recently (10 minutes ago lol) I have learned that you can use High Pass filter for sharpening and seems to work better in a number of ways. It's a little easier and faster, and the results look more pleasing. But at the same time I haven't really used it enough to say if it's a better tool overall or each method is appropriate for different circumstances.

What do you guys use for sharpening and why?
 

runnah

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Unsharp, but like everything with photoshop there are 10 different ways to get the same result.
 

ronlane

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Most of mine, I sharpen in LR4, but I have used the high-pass filter in PSE 10 & 11. I cannot remember using the unsharp mask before.
 

cptkid

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I do most of my sharpening in LR4 now. However if I do sharpen in PS for any reason I use a high pass filter.
 

KmH

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Using the high pass filter is just one of many sharpening techniques.

Sharpening is a pretty involved subject and how sharpening is applied is in large part determined by the image being sharpened, and by the image intended use.
In general, images destined for electronic display cannot be sharpened as aggressively as images destined for print can be sharpened.

A couple of the members of Pixel Genius, LLC wrote the software that is the Sharpening panel in ACR (Camera Raw/Develop module).
They also wrote a book devoted to teaching the ins-and-outs of image sharpening -Real World Image Sharpening with Adobe Photoshop, Camera Raw, and Lightroom (2nd Edition)

They suggest sharpening be done in 3 stages - Capture (Camera Raw/Develop module), Local, and Output sharpening.

They note that edge frequency in an image is a major factor the determines what type and what value ranges the various Sharpening sliders can be used at.

Photoshop offers many, many more sharpening options and techniques than Lightroom does.
 

Big Mike

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I read an article about this, several years ago. The 'high pass filter' method is essentially using the same process as the 'Unsharp Mask' method. So if you tweaked the settings just right, you'd get the exact same results in the end.

The difference (of course) is in the workflow. The thing I like about the HP filter method, is that it can easily reside on it's own layer, which gives you plenty of options. But these days, if I do any sharpening in Photoshop (which is rare) I tend to use Smart Sharpen.
 

MrPorter

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One advantage of overlaying a high pass is that you can see, by the deviations from the middle, what exactly is being sharpened. Also by applying the dust and noise filter to the high pass, at a low radius, you can avoid sharpening any noise. I've used it in actions for sharpening scanned negatives to avoid accentuating the grain (the USM used by scanning software tends to be arbitrary). The high pass method might be old school, but, if you're used to it, it's very intuitive. I think it works best when correcting mistakes, when the focus didn't quite make it and you need to keep the shot. Better than those old 'edge masks' from back in the day.
 

Ysarex

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I used high pass years ago religiously for my sharpening, but have moved on to Smart Sharpen.

Another vote here for Smart Sharpen. The ability to sharpen on a per channel basis trumps advantages from other methods.

Joe
 

lenny_eiger

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I think there is no magic bullet. I use unsharp mostly, but high pass offers a lot of control you don't get in other methods. For example, you can mask the area to be sharpened and apply it to the layer. You can then modify the mask very delicately with a brush if you want. When done you can change the opacity slider to lessen the effect...

I think its a great tool to have in one's arsenal...

Lenny
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Buckster

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I think there is no magic bullet. I use unsharp mostly, but high pass offers a lot of control you don't get in other methods. For example, you can mask the area to be sharpened and apply it to the layer. You can then modify the mask very delicately with a brush if you want. When done you can change the opacity slider to lessen the effect...
By simply making a new flat layer of the whole image on top of the stack and then sharpening that, you get all those abilities from every other sharpening method as well, so it's not a level of control unique to high pass at all.
 

jenko

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I prefer high pass if I am going to sharpen. It has a slightly different "look" -- it adds a bit of grain and texture.
 

KenC

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I do edge sharpening, which does what it sounds like - limits the sharpening to the edges in the image and doesn't touch the areas with no edges (sky, skin, etc.). There are several versions of how to do this, but here's the one I like: Edge Mask Sharpening ? Underwater Photoshop
It is several steps (like many advanced sharpening techniques), but once you get used to it, it can be done in a minute or so.
 

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