The Truth About Photoshop Sharpening: Which Method Is Best for Your Photos?

What is the Best Photoshop Sharpening Method?

The Truth About Photoshop Sharpening: Which Method Is Best for Your Photos? Don’t be fooled by all the videos on YouTube. They are just trying to get you to watch that video. I will show you all the main Photoshop sharpening methods. What really matters with Photoshop sharpening is the process and how it is applied, not specifically a technique. Photoshop sharpening does not actually sharpen your photo. Photoshop sharpening actually creates edge contrast. It makes one side of an edge lighter and the other side of the edge darker, which give the appearance of a sharper edge. What you need to do is control where that sharpening happens. If you sharpen someones skin it will change from smooth and soft too hard and choppy. Make sure you watch the whole video and sorry it is so long. You need to learn the full process not just the techniques.

Photoshop for Photographers

“Photoshop for Photographers” was designed as a supplemental resource for my class, “Photoshop for Photographers.” The goal is to teach you how to use Adobe Photoshop step by step. I understand this path is not for everyone and there is no reason you have to follow this process. However, if you want to really learn the program, I would suggest learning everything on the video and then move on.

View of Photoshop’s Smart Sharpen Window which is one of my least favorite sharpening methods.

Photoshop's Smart Sharpen window.

At this time I feel most of the Neural Filters are gimmicky verses useful.

JOHN WHITEHEAD IMAGES

Items Covered in this Video

The Truth About Photoshop Sharpening: Which Method Is Best for Your Photos?

Photoshop Sharpening techniques and how to apply them to your image.

Photoshop Requirements and Hard Drives

Working in Adobe Photoshop and with photography is more than just installing software and saving images to your computer. Computers these days are using solid State Drives SSD, which are fast, but do not have a large storage capacity. If you start downloading a bunch of photographs to your computer, it will not take long until you get a “Scratch Disk Full” error. This means your internal hard drive is full. Just to run a computer and Adobe Photoshop you need a sufficient amount of free space. Image previews are usually stored in a computer’s cache. This a temporary storage so it can quickly retrieve previews without recreating them every time you look at them. I cover this in the my Photoshop Preferences Tutorial. Personally, I store all caches on an external hard drive. At this moment I have 4 different hard drives hooked up to my computer. Two SSD’s and two enterprise optical drives, each performing a different task. All these drives are backed up via BackBlaze.

Another important aspect of running any of Adobe’s products are them requirements. Adobe lists the minimum requirements to run each of their programs, but you never want to be using the minimums, or the speed will drive you nuts. You need to realize that that your computer and every other application you run have requirements. So if you have Photoshop’s min of RAM 4GB, that will not allow any for your computer to run or a browser like Chrome. Below I will have two lists. One is some reasonable minimum requirements to run Adobe Software and what I am running. The second is a list of issues you will run into with insufficient hard drive space, and low minimum requirements. Just about every online student that I teach run into these issues. I hope this helps.

Minimum Requirements

  • RAM 8-16 GB (I use 64GB)
  • Internal SSD Hard Drive Space, 512 GB I have 1TB
  • External Hard Drive 1TB, but more is better
  • Processor Intel or equivalent i5 quad core processor or apple M1 or M2 (I use Intel i7 8core)
  • A non integrated Graphics Card (AMD Radeon Pro 5700 8 GB)

Insufficient Requirements

  • Scratch Disk Full
  • Slow Computer
  • Artificial Intelligence takes forever
  • You can only open one program at at time
  • Photoshop constantly crashes
  • Learning Photoshop is frustrating because of the above issues

I have a Facebook Group called, “Learn Adobe Lightroom, Photoshop, and Bridge.” I created this group because I get a lot of questions on YouTube that are hard to answer unless I can see the issue. This will allow a place you can ask questions, and more importantly post images and videos.

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