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Chapter 6. Simple Retouching Techniques > Using Blurring and Sharpening

Using Blurring and Sharpening

Photoshop’s blurring and sharpening tools are simply two edges of the same contrast-manipulation sword. When Photoshop is commanded to sharpen an image or selection, it sends its nanotech pixel inspectors out to look at every pixel in an image and discover boundaries or edges where the contrast and tonal values between pixels changes relatively suddenly. (Actually, it’s an algorithm that does the job, not subminiature pixel inspectors.)

In Figure 6.25, you can see an area that typically would be considered an edge (it happens to be a stripe on a white tiger). Sharpening is accomplished by increasing the contrast among those pixels, enhancing the edges, as shown in Figure 6.26. Blurring is nothing more than decreasing the contrast among the same pixels, making the edges less prominent, as you can see in Figure 6.27.


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