Photoshop Quick Fixes for Beginners: Sharpening Images and Black And White Conversion

Typically when taking photos on my mobile I use the mobile version of photoshop (photoshop express) when editing.

The first thing I do when editing quickly is a quick 35% sharpen of my image as this amount is what I find pushes the image just enough. Then I auto expose my image but usually change the auto exposure to fit the mood I want the image to have. As sometimes I find auto exposure to be too bright or to dark for what I was going for when I took the image. For me these mobile quick fixes are easier for IPhone photography.

Normally I shoot from a camera so when I first started I’d upload my images to my computer and import them into photoshop to do a more complex edit, without ever using lightroom, now that’s my go to. My processing started in a similar way to my IPhone photography as I started by sharpening the image. My sharpen is slightly different to on the phone as I start by duplicating the original layer and using an unsharp mask filter to sharpen my image to 35%, with a radius of 5.0 pixels and a threshold of 3 levels.

Next I would duplicate my sharpen layer and then I adjust the levels so the light to dark ratio of my image is perfectly balanced. Then I’d use auto curves on my image to further improve the light to dark ratio.

Finally, not all images lend themselves to colour and thanks to the Google Nik collection as there are now better ways to make an image black and white without using the standard photoshop desaturation or black and white filter. So, before Lightroom Pre-sets and still on occasion if I think an image shouldn’t be in colour, I use the silver efex pro filter from the Nik Collection as the tool which contains pre-sets. My favourite pre-set is high structure harsh because it makes the original boring background stand out against a subject and I typically used this for street photography and any portrait where I think the original background was dull.

If you enjoyed this look out for more tips and tricks in further reading on my blog.


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