Photoshop tip: Can blurring the image help you sharpen it better?

Sep 7, 2021

Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.

Photoshop tip: Can blurring the image help you sharpen it better?

Sep 7, 2021

Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.

Join the Discussion

Share on:

YouTube video

There are several ways to sharpen your photos in Photoshop. However, I believe most of us wouldn’t consider using Gaussian Blur as one of them. Still, it’s also one of the options, and it can give you fantastic results. It’s also pretty simple to apply it, and in this video, Unmesh Dinda of PiXimperfect will show you how.

Of course, start by opening the image you’d like to sharpen. Copy it two times, so you have three layers. Invert the top layer (Ctrl/Cmd + I) and change the blend mode from Normal to Vivid Light. Convert the layer for smart filters by going to Filter > Convert for Smart Filters. This way, you’ll be able to change filter values if necessary.

Now it’s time to apply the blur. Go to Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur and set the value you like. As you add blur, you’ll see that the edges are getting more defined – similar to using the High-Pass Filter for sharpening. For the natural-looking results, you don’t want the edges too thick.

The next step is to group the top and the middle layer. Select them and press Ctrl/Cmd + G. Now, change the blend mode of the layer group to Overlay, and that’s pretty much it. In case you’re not quite pleased with the end result, you can always go back and change the blur value.

I was intrigued by this method, so I followed the tutorial along to see how it would work for me. This is the image I used:

Here is my result. I left the blur value slightly higher on purpose so you can see the difference:

I’ve never considered sharpening my photos this way, and I admit this is the first time I’ve seen this technique. There’s actually one more method of sharpening photos by using blur, and you can check that one out here. I personally always use the High-Pass Filter, but Unmesh points out that this one gives a better result for some images. As far as I’m concerned, it’s definitely worth giving a shot.

What do you think? Have you used this technique already, and if not – would you?

[Increase Blur to Sharpen Better? – Photoshop Trick | PiXimperfect]

Filed Under:

Tagged With:

Find this interesting? Share it with your friends!

Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.

Join the Discussion

DIYP Comment Policy
Be nice, be on-topic, no personal information or flames.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

2 responses to “Photoshop tip: Can blurring the image help you sharpen it better?”

  1. aleroe Avatar
    aleroe

    Isn’t this manually doing what the unsharp mask does automatically?

  2. John Beatty Avatar
    John Beatty

    I have viewed some of your other videos and use some of your techniques. However, this one is just making something done much easier (sharpening) more difficult. Thanks anyways.