Are you trying to fix a photo that looks blurry or want to emphasize a certain part of your photo and draw focus to it? In both those cases sharpening the photos can be a powerful tool – but it is one that must be used with care.
Essentially when you ‘sharpen’ a photo the edges that are present in the image will be detected and accentuated, making them more visible. Typically there are three settings that can be adjusted:
- Threshold will determine how sensitive the tool is to detecting edges and can be adjusted so that subtle edges aren’t affected.
- Amount controls the strength of the sharpening and how large the contrast between the light and dark sides of the edge will be.
- Radius sets the size of the edges that will be sharpened in terms of the pixels around them that will be affected.
While the settings will give you control over the way that your photos are sharpened, you will not have control over what edges are detected and accentuated. That is why sharpening needs to be used with care, as in many cases it could end up accentuating image noise or other imperfections that you’d prefer to remain hidden.
On top of that different editors have different tools to sharpen photos – each of which may affect it in a slightly different way.
Ways to Sharpen Photos in PhotoWorks
In PhotoWorks there are several different ways that you can sharpen photos and reveal a lot more detail. It is up to you to decide which is the most suitable for your photo, and the type of details that you want revealed – or not revealed, as the case may be.
To sharpen your blurry images using PhotoWorks you could choose to:
- Sharpen the overall image using the Sharpness tool in the Enhancement section. It is a good way to fix photos that are generally blurry or that look soft.
- Sharpen a specific object or area using the Adjustment Brush, Radial Filter or Graduated Filter tools that are in the Retouch section. The Adjustment Brush is best for small objects or details, while the Radial Filter can make a larger area stand out, and the Graduated Filter is ideal for large regions such as a skyline.
- Bring out texture in the overall image by increasing the mid-tone contrast using the Clarity setting. It is located under the Enhancement section in the Main tab, and can make a photo look less flat.
As you can see each option that PhotoWorks provides will let you sharpen your photos a little bit differently. Keep in mind that there are lots of other features you may want to take advantage of in the editor as well, and you could make your photos look more vivid, remove unwanted elements, adjust the frame and composition, or even apply artistic effects.
Initially, you could just focus on trying out the different options in PhotoWorks to sharpen your photos – and see how each one affects it.