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Lesson 3. Basic Photo Corrections > Applying the Unsharp Mask filter

Applying the Unsharp Mask filter

The last step you take when retouching a photo is to apply the Unsharp Mask filter, which adjusts the contrast of the edge detail and creates the illusion of a more focused image.

Choose Filter > Sharpen > Unsharp Mask.

In the Unsharp Mask dialog box, make sure that the Preview option is selected so that you can see the results in the image window.

You can drag inside the preview window in the dialog box to see different parts of the image or use the plus (+) and minus (–) buttons below the thumbnail to zoom in and out.

Drag the Amount slider until the image is as sharp as you want (we used 75%).

As you try different settings, toggle the Preview check box off and on to see how your changes affect the image in the image window. Or, you can just click-hold the image in the dialog box to toggle the filter off and on. If your image is large, using the display in the dialog box can be more efficient because only a small area is redrawn.

Drag the Radius slider to determine the number of pixels surrounding the edge pixels that will affect the sharpening. The higher the resolution, the higher the Radius setting should be. (We used the default value, 1.0 pixel.)

(Optional) You can adjust the Threshold slider. This determines how different the sharpened pixels must be from the surrounding area before they are considered edge pixels and subsequently sharpened by the Unsharp Mask filter. The default Threshold value of 0 sharpens all pixels in the image. Try a different value, such as 4 or 5.

When you are satisfied with the results, click OK to apply the Unsharp Mask filter.



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