Advanced techniques using Photoshop's most advanced features. Blending modes part 2 - sharpening without colour noise.

Sharpening without colour noise

Many photographers switch off in-camera sharpening because they prefer the control that they get from sharpening in Photoshop. The Unsharp Mask is a very popular sharpening tool, but a downside is that it can introduce visible colour noise and halos. Here’s a quick sharpening recipe that uses the Luminosity and Color blending modes to eliminate these problems.

1. In the Layers palette, duplicate the original image layer by dragging the background layer onto the “Create a new layer” icon, or use Ctrl/Cmd-J.

2. Using the pull-down blending mode menu in the Layers palette or the shortcut Alt/Opt-Shift-Y, change the duplicate layer’s blending mode to Luminosity and rename it “Luminosity.”

3. Apply some Gaussian Blur to the Luminosity layer. Set an amount of 200—250 per cent with a radius of 1 and threshold of 0.

4. In the Layers palette, use Ctrl/Cmd-J to make another duplicate of the original image layer and drag the new layer to the top of the layer stack.

5 Change the duplicate layer’s blending mode to Color using the pulldown menu or shortcut Alt/Opt-Shift-C and rename it “Colour.”

6. Blur the Colour layer using Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur. Set a small amount – 3 or 4 should be enough to take out the halos and colour noise around the details.

Basic technique

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