getting pictures sharper

 Unsharp Mask offers true control over the appearance of image sharpness without introducing all those crappy extra artifacts that come along with the one button fixes.  

Okay, we're gonna deal with 3 dials and learn some starting ranges so if that seems intimidating, get over it, because once you are comfortable sharpening with Unsharp Mask (helluva misleading name for it) there is no looking back.

Radius just means how many pixels wide along an edge are gonna get sharpened.

Strength is how much contrast will be applied to those pixels.

Clipping is kinda like how Bufferin takes the edge off of aspirin, dosage seldom changes.

For a more techno-detailed explanation check your manual or the online help section.



A general starting range
for scanned/camera images

Radius .50-2.5
Strength 80-160
Clipping 1-7

Expect your PSP dialog box to appear duller


... Irreverent Tutorial ...  

 Use the starting ranges and open 2 images (one blurry crappy one and a normal one )
However this exercise is not really about sharpening those 2 images

Lean back in your chair put your feet up on the desk, crack open a fresh bag of Cheetos (substitutions okay but must be crunchy)

This is highly scientific ... chips are gonna keep the mood light and the pace relaxed so you can't get yourself in a big impatient frustrated hurry.  

Our more important relationships require spending time together consuming food.  Munch chips and spend some quality time with a feature that may become the most useful pal in your neighborhood.  

The object here is grasping the concept of how these dials work together and are friends maybe even your best friend ... if you are willing to invest in the relationship.

Learning visually is seldom as confusing or intimidating as it seems when you are reading the techno-wordy descriptions.

 Brains see and learn from pictures  

Language first converts a picture into words, then our brain translates it right back into pictures.  Heck why not cut out the middleman and shoot for the more direct picture-to-brain upload.  Testing and observing and then rereading the detailed specifics sometimes makes it easier to grasp on a cellular artistic level. <grin>

When you land on a tool or procedure and technotext has got you baffled:
Read through once ... go play with it a lot ... then go back for the reread
after you've actually experienced the feel of the tool.

Take your time and discover possibilities
Duplicate your images ... undo the originals results 
Spin dials - experiment - then revisit the manual

By the end of this exercise if you aren't completely in love
with the Unsharp Mask ...
then you didn't eat the chips.