We know that every photo is different and requires different digital image processing. But there is a trick we can do to improve every photo, no matter what that photo is.

The trick is to use “Unsharp Mask” in a different way. Most people use it just to sharpen the image with the following settings: Amount – 100%, Radius – 1 and Threshold – 0. In Photoshop we can find “Unsharp Mask” in “Sharpen” from the “Filter” drop down menu.

Now we can change the settings to the unusual: Amount – 20%, Radius – 50 and Threshold – 0. What we are actually doing by this is LOCAL CONTRAST ENHANCEMENT. Yes, this is the trick we can do on any photo.

You can already notice some Local Contrast improvement. The good thing about this is that you can do it twice even three times without worrying about the settings, just by clicking “Unsharp Mask”, because Photoshop remembers the last filter you used with the same settings and places it at the top of the “Filter” drop down menu.

If you overdo it just click “Undo” from the “Edit” menu. Once you are happy with the result you can save the photo which is now a lot more vivid and punchier. You can see the “Before and After” below.

This trick works on every photo. Now you can easily make all your photos better looking. Enjoy it!

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Tuesday, December 8th, 2009 at 9:13 pm
photo touch up
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4 Responses to “Easy trick to improve every photo”

  1. Daniel Sach Says:

    Hmmm. Interesting. I will have to try this.

  2. Richard Brooks Says:

    Works well. Thanks. Did you mean to do the second step after the “what most people do” or instead of?

  3. admin Says:

    I meant “after”, not “instead of”. This technique is independent of sharpening. You should use Unsharp Mask twice – once with the usual settings for sharpening and a second time with the unusual settings for Local Contrast Enhancement.
    Also be careful of overdoing it! The best way to fine tune the result is to work on a duplicate layer and then reduce the opacity of that layer to your liking.

  4. John Artic Says:

    hey, I am a graphic arts graduate and your post is helpfull for both rookies and advanced designers. I’ve bookmarked you!

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