Sharpening an image in Photoshop seems fairly straightforward. With an image open, go up to the filter options, choose a sharpening method, and dial it in to your liking. The problem with these methods is that they tend to leave unwanted artifacts in the form of a white border around areas where contrast and color differ greatly.
Tired of this unwanted artifact, photographer and Photoshop guru Jimmy McIntyre created a specialized method of sharpening the vastly reduces that white border that often results from sharpening a full-size image. Now, he’s shared his method in the form of a helpful YouTube tutorial.
In the seven minute video, McIntyre first explains what the white border artifact is, as a baseline for comparison. After detailing the less-desired method of sharpening, he shows how to sharpen an image without it using a free-to-download Photoshop action he created.
If you aren’t a fan of actions or simply want to tweak his method a little more, McIntyre also shows how you can replicate his method from beginning to end without the action. Even for someone as familiar with Photoshop as myself, the method seems slightly convoluted, but it’s hard to argue with the results.
The basic premise behind his method is that by removing the sharpening effect at the very edges of high-contrast objects in the scene with the help of a mask, you can bring out the details of an image without destroying the areas of the image that should stay slightly softer.
It’s a great tutorial, and although he promotes his own Photoshop tool Raya Pro, it’s still worth watching and taking in since you don’t specifically need the tool to achieve the effect.
Try out the method for yourself and head on over to McIntyre’s YouTube Channel for more helpful Photoshop tutorials.