Sharpening Images in 3 Steps Using High Pass Filter

Today we will be sharing with you how to sharpen your images with three easy steps in Adobe Photoshop CS4.
Here are the three easy and quick steps that we will be performing:
1. Duplicate
2. Highpass
3. Overlay


To experiment this sharpening technique we will use the image below and try to improve its sharpness.

Click to View Larger Image

What? That’s not blurred? Take a closer look when magnified.

Click to View Larger Image

First: (of course after you open the image on Adobe Photoshop CS4) Duplicate the background layer (doesn’t matter if it is locked or not). Press Ctrl + J on PC and Cmd + J on a Mac.

Second: After duplicating, go to Filter > Other > High Pass… . Filter is located on the top menu of Photoshop. (see image below)

Photoshop High Pass Filter
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Regarding the strength of the high pass, what I do is I don’t let the colors be visible. But it is up to you. Experiment with different settings to achieve cool effects.


Third: Now the duplicated layer has High Pass Filter applied, with the High Pass Filter layer applied selected/highlighted, click on the drop down on your Layers Palette and switch from “Normal” to “Overlay” Blending Mode, and viola! Instant sharpening. (see image below)

Click to View Larger Image
The higher the strength of High Pass filter that you apply, the more your image will be sharpened. (And you don’t want over sharpened images right? ..but still, you could do crazy things and achieve cool effects, so EXPERIMENT)

Now let’s compare the before and after.

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Still not convinced? Let’s take a closer look and magnify things :)

Click to View Larger Image

Don’t forget to save your work. :)

This is specially helpful when doing Close Up Photography and or Macro Photography. You can even do this on landscape shots and it will bring surprising results. As I have always been saying, experiment. Practice makes perfect. (But nobody is perfect so why practice…just kidding!)

I hope you enjoyed this short tutorial. If you want to be notified for new posts from Digital SLR Photography Guide, you can subscribe to our RSS.
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3 Responses to “ Sharpening Images in 3 Steps Using High Pass Filter ”

  1. Mahalia Simcic says:

    Wow man, that’s really nice info, cheers.

  2. Prince Vasquez says:


  3. Prabhu Shankar says:

    Thanks , it was very useful….

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