Sharpen Images by Blurring (Yes, Blurring) Them in Photoshop

Photo of blur sharpen technique

Here’s a great Photoshop trick that might seem counterintuitive: you can sharpen an image by blurring it first. In the below tutorial, Photoshop guru Unmesh Dinda shows you this handy technique for portraits, but it works for any photo that needs precise sharpening in post-processing.

In the video, Dinda explains how this technique sharpens images better than traditional methods by using a combination of special blend modes and Gaussian Blur. In the tutorial, he also compares and discusses the difference between this technique and the High Pass method to see which works better in different editing situations.

“In this video I’m going to share with you a very special technique where the more you blur, the sharper your image gets,” Dinda says. “Although that might sound common and you might have heard about it before, what really struck me was when I compared it with High Pass, it totally changed the game and in many cases, it was way better than High Pass.”

If you want to follow along with the editing demo in the video and try the technique yourself, you can download the free sample images here and here. You should also stick around to the end where Dinda shows you a new Sharpening Action (download it for free here) that speeds up the process dramatically.

Along with sharpening tips, Dinda offers quite a few Photoshop techniques for improving portraits on his PiXimperfect channel, including this tutorial where he explains how to make skin tones pop through a few simple tweaks in post-processing.

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