Thursday, August 1, 2013

Photoshop Tutorial: Midtone Unsharp Mask

A really simple but powerful procedure for today, that will give a really nice boost for some of your images. It's best suited for landscapes, particularly those with high detail (rather than large even surfaces, like skies). A midtone unsharp mask, as the name implies, is a use of the unsharp mask aimed at increasing the midtone contrast. This gives a "punch" to your images, making them more vivid. Notice the following image (click to enlarge, the difference should be subtle)

Click to Enlarge
To recreate this, simply open your image, and select the following values on the unsharp mask dialog:  Amount 20%, Radius 50, Threshold 0

That's it! On very special cases, you can run the same procedure (with the same values) one more time, but it's better not to overdo it. Less is more. And like I mentioned in the prologue, this works best with fine-detail landscapes. Definitely avoid for portraits, unless if you're after a particular, harsh effect like with this one:

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