Tag Archives: smart sharpen

How To Sharpen Images With Smart Filters In Photoshop

How To Sharpen Images With Smart Filters

In this post, you will learn how to sharpen images using smart sharpen. This effect really gives a better look especially for colorful images and animals. Sharpening works by detecting different colors and brightness in close areas (called as edges) and increasing the difference. Thus, it effects like opposite of blur and gives images a realistic look.

Step 1 : Duplicate The Background Layer And Convert The New One

Duplicate the background layer using Ctrl+J (Win) / Command+J (Mac). Then, either right click on the new layer and choose Convert to Smart Object or select the layer and click on the icon at top left of the layer panel, then choose Convert to Smart Object.

Step 2: Add Smart Sharpening And Adjust The Options

Select the new layer and select Filter > Sharpen > Smart Sharpen … .

This will open up an options panel. Select the part that you want to sharpen in the image to see the preview. This way you can see better when you change the sliders. Amount means sharpening amount; radius decides how many pixels will be included to the edges, very high or very low values will not give a good result, pick something that looks good (usually 3-5). Reduce noise removes some of the sharpened pixels to reduce the error after sharpening, pick something around 10-20. Lastly remove a blur type that makes the best effect one the image.

Step 3: Add A Layer Mask And Brush The Wanted Areas

Select the new layer and add a layer mask holding Alt (Win) / Option (Mac) key. This will allow you to decide where to apply sharpening effect.

After creating the mask, select it. Select color as white. This will apply the effect through the mask. Then select the brush tool and brush inside of the image first with high brush size. Then brush the edges of the image with smaller size. In this case I picked 1500 px to brush inside of the eagle and picked around 150 to paint the edges and the beak.

After brushing my mask looks like this. You can see yours by clicking on it while holding Alt (Win) / Option (Mac) key.

Now you can adjust the sharpening effect by changing opacity of the layer or changing the effect options by clicking on the effect name.

Lastly, to add a little bit color to the image, select the blend mode Soft Light. This will uncover the color and add real look even more.


This is how you can sharpen images using Photoshop. You can learn this and much more from a professional photo editing course called Learn Photo Editing with more details. To see my learn photo editing review go to the main page . Thank you for reading!