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jeanette62 Apr 11, 2008 2:24 AM

i have heard that you can use the unmask to do other things to your photos any ideas

John at the Beach Apr 11, 2008 10:27 AM

I only use the "unmask" for sharpening...I am not aware of any other uses...
Did I miss something in the "If all else fails, read the instructions" rule that
most guys follow...:O

jeanette62 Apr 11, 2008 3:09 PM

yes i read a post sure it was hwere that you can use some settings and it enhances the photo i had the settings in photoshop but my cpomputer went down and i had to reformat it so lost them :sad:

granthagen Apr 11, 2008 8:00 PM

jeanette62, you asked the same question earlier in this forum and Reanimator provided a valid reply and a good link to explain how to use the unsharp mask feature.

The unsharp mask enhances photos by increasing edge contrast and giving the illusion of a sharper picture. This is pretty much all that it's designed to do.

As Reanimator pointed out, there is no "one size fits all" group of settings, hence his link to an instructional web page.

Scott Kelby, in his book The Photoshop Book for Digital Photographers, gives some general settings that he likes:

Sharpening Soft Objects (flowers, puppies, rainbows, etc.): Amount 150%, Radius 1, Threshold 10.

Maximum Sharpening (for visibly out of focus shots, or shots with lots of hard edges such as buildings, coins, cars): Amount 65%, Radius 4, Threshold 3.

All-Purpose Sharpening (one he uses the most): Amount 85%, Radius 1, Threshold 4.

Web Sharpening (photos for the web): Amount 400%, Radius .3, Threshold 0. If this looks too intense, try the Amount at 200%. Kelby goes on to say, "I also use this same setting (Amount 400%) on out-of-focus photos. It adds some noise, but I've seen it rescue photos that I would have otherwise thrown away".

These are just ball park figures. The appropriate settings for any individual picture depend on a lot of variables such as picture resolution, pixel dimensions (if web posting), document size (if printing), the average viewing distance from a printed picture, the type of paper used, the subject matter of the photo, personal taste and possibly others.

Unsharp mask is more an art than a science. But, if you aren't too picky, the above guidelines might prove satisfactory for you.


David French Apr 11, 2008 8:59 PM

You can use the unsharp mask to add contrast to your image on an area-by-area basis. Try an amount of 10%, a radius of 50 px, and leave the threshold at 0.

This is an extremely useful technique. Just don't overuse it like I did when I first learned it.

VTphotog Apr 12, 2008 5:21 PM

You may be thinking of ' Local Contrast Enhancement' , which is a way to reduce haze in some landscape pictures, and give a bit more vibrance. As everyone else has mentioned, there is not a specific setting, but a general rule for this, which is to use a fairly large radius, around 40 or greater, small amount, 10 to 20, and a higher threshold than for sharpening, starting around 15, and working up or down.


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