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Applying the Unsharp Mask filter

The last task you may do when retouching a photo is to apply the Unsharp Mask filter. The Unsharp Mask filter adjusts the contrast of the edge detail and creates the illusion of a more focused image.

  1. Choose Filter > Sharpen > Unsharp Mask.
  2. In the Unsharp Mask dialog box, make sure that the Preview box is checked so that you can see the results in the image window.

    You can drag inside the preview in the dialog box to see different parts of the image, or use the plus (+) and minus (–) buttons below the thumbnail to zoom in and out.

  3. Drag the Amount slider to about 62% to sharpen the image.
  4. Drag the Radius slider to determine the number of pixels surrounding the edge pixels that will affect the sharpening. The higher the resolution, the higher the Radius setting should be. (We used the default value, 1.0 pixel.)
  5. (Optional) Adjust the Threshold slider. This determines how different the sharpened pixels must be from the surrounding area before they are considered edge pixels and subsequently sharpened by the Unsharp Mask filter. The default Threshold value of 0 sharpens all pixels in the image. Try a different value, such as 4 or 5.
  6. When you are satisfied with the results, click OK to apply the Unsharp Mask filter.
  7. Choose File > Save.
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