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Chapter 6. Using the Standard Photo Editor > Sharpening with Unsharp Mask

Sharpening with Unsharp Mask

The Sharpen functions in Auto Fix and Quick Fix (and, for that matter, in most other applications) use an algorithm known as Unsharp Mask. Despite its confusing name, it increases the sharpness of edges. (The name comes from the technique's roots in the film world, in which a slightly blurred copy of an image—the unsharp mask—is combined with the film negative to sharpen the edges.)

Unsharp Mask has three parameters that control its operation. You can control them indirectly via the slider in Quick Fix, but by using the Unsharp Mask filter, you gain control over all three parameters. Such control can be both an opportunity and a curse, as setting all three parameters optimally for a given image is not a simple matter.


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