Your photo is out of focus. Keep or delete? There is a sharpening tool called auto sharpen. Frankly, it doesn’t seem to do much. Instead, a better tool called, funnily enough, the Unsharp Mask allows you to make effective manual adjustments. The goal is to sharpen as much as possible without over doing it. When you overdo the sharpening, a “halo” results around elements in the photo which takes on an almost surreal look.
My husband Mike has been working in Cannon Beach for a couple months renovating a condo I purchased fifteen years ago. He’s taken two photos he was hoping I could make into quilts.
I think the mood he’s achieved with this photo is amazing. I love the calm and serenity.
Notice how in the sharpened (and straightened) image below you can distinguish the figures and boards they are carrying just a bit more.
I really like the energy in his second image.
Here’s the same photo over sharpened. Remember at the beginning I said the goal was not to over sharpen. But–it’s a great technique when you want to sharply define edges to create pattern pieces for your artwork. I will do the same for the one above when I’m ready to use it for a wall hanging.
Besides correcting obvious blur and over sharpening to create a pattern, the sharpening tool is also the last step after all of the adjustments have been made to a photo. Think of it as the finishing touch.