Selective High Pass Sharpening

Article by Giuseppe Sapori

Sometimes it can happen that our image needs some more details in a selective and targeted area.

The use of filters such as Topaz Adjust is very functional for this purpose but it is often characterized by full lights and strong contrasts that do not always give the desired effect. It can also happen that after using Topaz Adjust my image still needs a few more details I want to add using another method.

A good tool to add details selectively is the high pass sharpening. In this tutorial we will see how to add details without affecting the entire photo.

This is the image before the high pass sharpen



Duplicate the layer with (cmd+j) mac (ctrl+j) pc

Go to filters>other>high pass

You will see a menu like this:

Set Radius 4 or 5. It’s an high valour for high pass but don’t worry about that at the moment.

The image now should look like this

 Now change the layer blending mode to “overlay” or, if you prefer something stronger, “linear light”

Now the image is more detailed, but if the effect is too strong you can choose the desired opacity to decrease it.

To remove details in unwanted areas, just use layer masks by clicking on “add vector mask” at the bottom of the palette or going to :

Layer>vector mask>reveal all

Now the level should be like this, with a white mask inside. The White colour reveals the contents of the mask, black hides it.

With the mask selected now paint the image with the brush tool with black colour, painting on areas where you want to erase details. In this image I erased details in the sky and on the nearby buildings.

Here is the final image with selective high pass sharpening.