The Unsharp Mask finds areas in the image where some contrast exists—usually around the edges of an image—and increases the contrast of the pixels on either side of these areas to create the illusion of a sharper image.

You can adjust the sharpness of the filter by altering the three settings in the Unsharp Mask dialog box:

NOTE Just your Average, Everyday Filter

While the technique I'll show you here is pretty cool, sadly, it's not a miracle worker. If you're trying to sharpen images that were photographed blurry or out-of-focus, this technique may not produce dream results. Now if Photoshop could go out and retake the photos for you, it would be another story entirely!

Amount: The amount determines how much contrast is given to the pixels on either side of an edge.

Radius: The radius determines how sharp the edge appears. A smaller radius means that fewer pixels will be affected on either side of the edge, so the sharper the edge will appear.

Threshold: The threshold defines what an "edge" is. A high threshold value requires more contrast in the original image to define the existence of an "edge."

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