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Applying the Unsharp Mask filter

The last step you take when retouching a photo is to apply the Unsharp Mask filter, which 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 option is selected so that you can see the results in the image window.

    You can drag inside the preview window 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 until the image is as sharp as you want (we used 75%).
  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) You can 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.
  6. Click OK to apply the Unsharp Mask filter.
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