Sharpen soft shots
George Cairns reveals how to use Photoshop Elements to sharpen details
Use Elements 12 to sharpen details in images without adding unwanted artefacts
There are several reasons why a photo may look soft. There’s the obvious one: the shot’s slightly out of focus. Or, if you shoot with a wide aperture setting then you’ll have a narrow depth of field, so only a shallow area will remain in focus.
Our start image was captured using a wide aperture of f/3.2, which created a blurred background that helps the model stand out. We wouldn’t want to sharpen a deliberately blurred background, but we can make details such as our model’s eyes stand out more effectively with sharpening, courtesy of Photoshop Elements 12.
Even if your image looks sharp on screen, it can print out fuzzily, so a touch of post-production sharpening helps create a print with more punch.
Elements makes soft objects in a shot look sharper by increasing the contrast around the edges of details. This gives certain features more impact, making them appear sharper. Sharpening is a balancing act. If you increase the contrast around the edges by too large an amount you can add sharpening artefacts such as horrible haloes and nasty noise. We’ll show you how to recognise and therefore avoid adding artefacts while sharpening our shots.