06 Finished Result
South African Penguin

Do you sharpen up your images in Photoshop? Perhaps you use one of the preset sharpen methods you find under the filter menu? (filter – sharpen).

Very often these presets are just exactly what you’ll need to enhance your photo, but sometimes you want to/need to have more control over the process. In this tutorial I’ll show you how to sharpen your image in just a few small steps using the High Pass filter.

The photo I’ve used in this tutorial is a scan from film. The star of the photo, the penguin,  was captured on a trip to Cape Town, South Africa.

  • Open your photo and copy the original layer (ctrl+j)
  • On the copied layer, choose the high pass filter (filter – other + high pass) (illustration 01)
    By default the radius is set to 10 pixels, which should be suitable.  Click OK.
  • Change the blending mode for the layer. Set it to Hard Light (illustration 02)
  • Play around with the opacity of the layer until you’re satisfied with the result.
  • If needed you can also add a Brightness/Contrast Layer, but this depends entirely on your photo.

Click on the gallery to see the process:

More tutorials:
The Alligator (add a lens blur effect to your photo)
Restore scanned photos in Photoshop