Photoshop tip: Can blurring the image help you sharpen it better?

Tips & Techniques

There are several ways to sharpen your photos in Photoshop. However, I believe most of us wouldn’t consider using Gaussian Blur as one of them. Still, it’s also one of the options, and it can give you fantastic results. It’s also pretty simple to apply it, and in this video, Unmesh Dinda of PiXimperfect will show you how.

Of course, start by opening the image you’d like to sharpen. Copy it two times, so you have three layers. Invert the top layer (Ctrl/Cmd + I) and change the blend mode from Normal to Vivid Light. Convert the layer for smart filters by going to Filter > Convert for Smart Filters. This way, you’ll be able to change filter values if necessary.

Now it’s time to apply the blur. Go to Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur and set the value you like. As you add blur, you’ll see that the edges are getting more defined – similar to using the High-Pass Filter for sharpening. For the natural-looking results, you don’t want the edges too thick.

The next step is to group the top and the middle layer. Select them and press Ctrl/Cmd + G. Now, change the blend mode of the layer group to Overlay, and that’s pretty much it. In case you’re not quite pleased with the end result, you can always go back and change the blur value.

I was intrigued by this method, so I followed the tutorial along to see how it would work for me. This is the image I used:

Here is my result. I left the blur value slightly higher on purpose so you can see the difference:

I’ve never considered sharpening my photos this way, and I admit this is the first time I’ve seen this technique. There’s actually one more method of sharpening photos by using blur, and you can check that one out here. I personally always use the High-Pass Filter, but Unmesh points out that this one gives a better result for some images. As far as I’m concerned, it’s definitely worth giving a shot.

What do you think? Have you used this technique already, and if not – would you?

[Increase Blur to Sharpen Better? – Photoshop Trick | PiXimperfect]

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