Sharpen an Image with the High Pass Filter in Photoshop

Today you are going to learn how to take an ordinary photo and sharpen it up very easily and effectively using the High Pass Filter in Photoshop. The high pass filter is one of those filters that are commonly overlooked, but it has a great potential, and if used correctly, can make your photos go from looking good to looking great. You will get that extra something when adding the high pass filter.

So, let’s get started and I will show you how to apply the high pass filter in Photoshop to sharpen an image.

Step One. The first thing that you need to do is to open an image that you would like to apply the high pass filter too. This can be any photo, but I like to choose one that I close up to the object of interest so that I can get the most out of this filter.

Step Two. Now you need to duplicate your background layer to a new layer. You can do this easily by holding down Ctrl on the keyboard and hit J. This will duplicate your image exactly to a new layer. This is to keep your original intact in case you need to go back and change something.

Step Three. Now, on your new layer, go to Filter, down to other, and choose High Pass. This will bring up the High Pass window. You need to set it so that the radius is set to 5.0 pixels. You will notice that your image now looks really bad. The high pass filter works like an EQ on your image and brings down the lows, and boosts the highs to make the image sharper. Don’t worry because we are getting ready to fix the look of your image next.

Step Four. There really isn’t much left to do to get your image sharper. You need to go to your blending options for your layer (found above the layers window) and change the blending mode to Overlay. This will make your image reappear and you will have a new image that is a lot sharper than the original.

This has been a really quick and easy way to sharpen an image with the high pass filter in Photoshop. I hope that you found what you needed to perform your task easily. Sharpening an image can be a hard task to perform if you don’t know how to do it correctly. The high pass filter is something that you can start out with to see if you can get better results out of your image. I usually find that the high pass filter is all that I need to sharpen my images.