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Digital images need sharpening to overcome the effects of interpolation and anti-aliasing filters. Additional sharpening is often needed for creative effect, and a third round of sharpening is often needed for optimal reproduction, whether that is on screen or in print.

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Why sharpen?

Sharpening of digital image files is one of the most important aspects of image quality and arguably one of the least understood. Sharpening brings out detail and gives an image presence, but not all images should be sharpened the same and even areas within an image often need a specific sharpening treatment. When it comes to sharpening, there are many factors that need to be considered.

Why is sharpening a three-step process?

The most fundamental sharpening issue is to understand the concept that it is best handled as a three-step process. Digital images have varying degrees of sharpness when cameras or scanners create them. Overcoming the slight blurring effects of filters or sensor design is termed "capture" sharpening.

Images have different characteristics and often need more sharpening in some areas than in other areas. This is termed "creative" or "process" sharpening.

Once a digital image is a finished high resolution file, perhaps a master file, it will need a third and final sharpening which needs to be tailored to the type of output. There are four basic outputs requiring different sharpening amounts:

Capture sharpening

The need for capture sharpening depends on the sensor technology, the presence of blur filters, lens quality, and f/stop settings. In general, the best methodology is to accept that any new camera model is likely to have different requirements from any camera model you are currently using. Only testing can tell you how much capture sharpening should be applied. Often, researching forums or camera reports can give you a good idea of starting points.

Creative or process sharpening

Edge frequency

Some images have high edge frequency, some have low edge frequency, and some are a combination. Edge frequency can be described as how many alternating patterns of strong lights and darks appear across the image. For instance, a tree with many fine branches is a high edge frequency image, while a large smooth object (a pumpkin is often used as an example), is a low edge frequency image. A tight portrait is a good example of a combination image. The areas of skin are low edge frequency, but the hair and eyes are high edge frequency. Portraits are among the trickiest of images to sharpen properly.

Image "look" or "presence"

What sharpening "look" do you want to give an image? Here is the subjective aspect of sharpening. We can't tell you what that look should be. You'll need to arrive at that determination through testing. Our goal is to help you understand the parameters, and to understand that sharpening for the output is the way to preserve the look you choose.

Output size

What is the final output size? The final output size (and output resolution) plays a big role in the required amount of output sharpening.

Output substrate

What is the final output media: screen, offset, ink-jet, or continuous tone? Different media have different sharpening requirements. Computer monitors have only about a third of the resolution of most print output. Lower resolution requires lower sharpening settings, especially radius settings. Since print has higher resolution, and another feature called "dot-gain" where the ink spreads slightly when it hits the paper, print output requires higher sharpening settings. The difference between screen and print media makes judging proper sharpening for print difficult to evaluate on a computer screen.

Other considerations

Will a multiple exposure blending technique be used in post production? When multiple identical digital images are aligned and blended, digital noise can be largely eliminated. This allows for more aggressive image sharpening of the final blended result.

Output sharpening

All image files, regardless of reproduction method, require output sharpening. This targeted output sharpening occurs when the image is at the final size for the specific display or printing device and substrate. Sometimes, the exact reproduction size is the only piece of missing information preventing delivery of a completely finished image file. While it is possible to sharpen delivery files “generically”, any resizing done after this will resample the pixels and result in some loss of sharpness. As mentioned previously, a work-around is to deliver sets of files at different sizes, but this does add to the workload. However, use of Photoshop actions can automate and speed up this process. There are two fundamental ways to sharpen digital images: sharpening the pixels that make up an image, and edge sharpening, which is sharpening the edges of shapes within an image.

Pixel sharpening

We believe that while capture sharpening can be done inside Camera Raw or Lightroom, output sharpening is best done within Photoshop. Use of pixel sharpeners such as Unsharp Mask, Smart Sharpen filters, or sharpening plug-ins such as PhotoKit Sharpener, Nik Sharpener Pro, and Focal Blade can do a good job. The plug-ins are easier to use than Unsharp mask or Smart Sharpen because they have built-in parameters for different sizes and outputs.

Edge sharpening

However, we prefer an edge sharpening technique for most output. Edge sharpening avoids emphasizing noise or other artifacts. In addition, edge sharpening holds up better if an image is resized slightly — which is often an unavoidable occurrence when image files are put into page layouts. The best technique for edge sharpening is to use one of the many variations of combining the Photoshop high-pass filter with an overlay – hard light, soft light, or linear light-blending mode. A nice advantage of this method is that it requires a duplicate layer, which makes the process non-destructive and infinitely adjustable by tweaking the opacity of the high pass layer. This technique also allows for adding a layer mask to prevent some areas from being sharpened or to minimize selective sharpening.

Good resource for learning about sharpening

We found one of the most succinct and best explanations of the sharpening tools in Camera Raw and Lightroom in by Schewe and Evening.

How to judge sharpening for output (it's tricky)

When judging sharpening for print, the image should be viewed at 50% or even 25% (if is a very large image), and not at 100%. Viewing at 50% gives a much better approximation of the actual effect of the sharpening whereas the 100% view will be largely misleading. Appropriate sharpness is definitely a subjective decision. Our advice is to try many techniques until you find one that gives good results and is repeatable. Keep a record of what you like best so you do not have to recreate this part of the wheel each time. Remember that different output devices as well as different substrates may each require very different approaches and levels of output sharpening.

What sharpening tools are available?

Raw processing applications, otherwise known as parametric image editors (PIEware), almost always have sharpening functions built in. These have become increasingly sophisticated, graduating from simple sliders to incorporating not just the amount of sharpening, but other parameters such as radius, detail and masking.

We find that testing is required for different images with varying edge frequencies to understand exactly how these ACR controls work. Our opinion is that the settings should be selected to provide good capture sharpening for your particular camera. We find that the default settings for radius, detail and masking are a pretty good compromise, and that you may want more or less, depending on your camera. If you use other PIEware, you'll find different controls and different effects. One issue of concern is that some PIEware sharpens images even when the sharpen slider is set to zero. This is due to some sharpening being built into the demosaicing algorithms.

It is our opinion that PIEware sharpening works best for capture sharpening. Images should not be sharpened "for effect" if additional image editing in Photoshop is planned. Sharpening when applied to pixels, as with files exported to Photoshop, is permanent and somewhat destructive. Photoshop's tools, especially layers and layer masking, are much better tools for creative sharpening and output sharpening.

Photoshop tools: Sharpen, Sharpen More, Unsharp Masking, Smart Sharpen, High Pass Filter

As has been said many times by many people, the Sharpen and Sharpen More tools are blunt instruments with no adjustabililty, and serious workers should avoided them. Unsharp Mask is generally accepted as the best tool, having enough adjustability to achieve nearly all sharpening goals. With the introduction of the Smart Sharpen tool in CS2, you might ask, why not just choose Smart Sharpen and be done with it? It's the smartest option right? Well, not exactly. Maybe Adobe means you have to be extra smart to use it since it has so many levels of control. The primary advantage to Smart Sharpen is that it has a function to overcome motion blur, which is not available in other Photoshop sharpen tools. The added complexity of Smart Sharpen is meant to address sharpening Shadows and Highlights differently, a worthy goal arguably better addressed with regular Unsharp Mask in conjunction with layers and layer masks. We do find it useful to keep Smart Sharpen on default settings for everything except radius and amount, and treat it as a second Unsharp Mask tool, which preserves the sticky settings in both tools. This is useful because we generally use Unsharp Mask to achieve localized contrast, a sharpening plug-in or High-Pass sharpening for output sharpening, and Smart Sharpen for quick sharpening of screen images.

As mentioned earlier, we often prefer to sharpen on a layer with a High Pass filter using a blending mode such as Overlay, Soft Light, Hard Light, or Linear Light. This method concentrates image sharpening on the edges of shapes in the picture.

As you can see in this screen shot, the High Pass Filter has detected all the edges in the photo. By varying the Radius setting and choosing the Blend Mode, you have many adjustment options. Not only that, but since this is done on a layer, you can adjust the layer opacity as well. This sharpening technique was preferred by Bruce Fraser for output sharpening as he felt that it came closer to matching traditional drum-scanning sharpening than could be achieved with Unsharp Mask or Smart Sharpen.

Another edge sharpening technique can be accomplished by creating a duplicate layer, sharpening with Unsharp Mask set to a radius of 4-8 pixels and an amount of 50. This will oversharpen the image, but then you will set the blend mode of the layer to Lighten. This will have the effect of lightening all the edges, which has a similar effect to the High Pass technique. This technique can be used by itself, or as a second pass technique for medium or high frequency images that need some extra sharpening punch.


An advantage of sharpening plug-ins is that they have pre-defined parameters built in. This takes much of the guesswork out of output sharpening. You can choose an output media, and the software usually already has factored in the size. Push OK, and you have a ready-made sharpening solution. The PhotoKit Output Sharpener shown below saves the result in layers, so you can make additional adjustments if desired. It is good practice to create a duplicate layer before using other sharpening plug-ins, which do not automatically create layers. This gives you more adjustment options and allows you to save a "sharpening layer" for delivery files. Be aware that not all output sharpening plug-ins work on CMYK files. If they don't, you'll need to do this step in RGB mode and then convert to CMYK.

Who should sharpen images and when?

In general, photographers should be responsible for capture sharpening. In a batch output workflow, this will make the images appear reasonably sharp without creating artifacts that will interfere with additional image processing. Creative or process sharpening should be done by the post-production person, who may be the photographer, the retoucher, a graphic designer, or other person who is tasked with finalizing the image file. The biggest issue with regard to sharpening is output sharpening. Since output sharpening should ideally be done at the final reproduction size, this often means that it needs to be handled by someone other than the photographer. Unfortunately, there is not much awareness of how to sharpen images for output among graphic designers, clients, web designers, or even commercial printers. There are two basic approaches to dealing with this at present. The first is to take a defensive posture, and use an edge sharpening technique for images that you are reasonably certain will be printed same size or scaled down. Edge sharpening seems to hold its effect somewhat better than pixel sharpening does when images are resized. The second approach is to deliver images that have not been sharpened for output and to communicate the need for final output sharpening with a readme file or delivery memo. If you are delivering TIFF files, it is possible to create a sharpening layer and deliver layered files. The image receiver can choose to use the layer or not, depending on whether the sharpening effect holds up or not. Since edge sharpening techniques involve making a duplicate layer, it makes this option an easy one from a workflow standpoint.

Sharpen in InDesign?

One solution that we have advocated with Adobe is to have a sharpening function incorporated into the InDesign application. Since designers usually use InDesign to crop and scale image files, it would make sense to have a sharpening function as part of that workflow. Currently, to do sharpening properly, designers are faced with cropping and scaling for position only (FPO) images and then repeating that work in Photoshop, sharpening the images appropriately, and then re-linking the sharpened images to the InDesign document. Very few designers have the time or inclination to go to this extra effort.

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Leading beverage brand MILO officially launches the 42nd National MILO Marathon. The country's biggest and longest running footrace strives to be more than just a running event as it continues to highlight the character-forming lessons that can be learned from the race. With the ongoing theme, "Magsama-sama, Tumakbo, Matuto", MILO strengthens the legacy of the National MILO Marathon in upholding a values-driven race experience for runners throughout the season.

Photographer: Sarah Anne Ward

In 2013, Disney set up a meeting with Hasbro, which already had Disney’s Star Wars and Marvel licenses, and its FunLab ran regular tests for the company. Before each Star Wars movie, for example, Hasbro tested kids’ familiarity with the franchise. They discovered that parents—“dads mostly,” says Frascotti—passed down their love of Star Wars to their kids in the same way that they taught them which sports teams to root for. “We have a fancy term for it that we made up,” says Frascotti. “We call it trans-generational emotional resonance.” Disney liked Hasbro’s FunLab reports. “They’d seen them work quite well for Star Wars and Marvel,” says Goldner. “Then they asked us what we knew about girls.”

Hasbro researchers found that girls—young girls, particularly—weren’t nearly as into clothes and boys and happily-ever-after as they thought. “What we found was that girls loved the idea of a brand that embraced friendship and kindness,” Goldner says. Impressed with Hasbro’s analysis, Disney gave it a small license for Descendants , a made-for-TV movie it was developing about the teenage kids of its princesses.

Meanwhile, Mattel made what, in hindsight, seems like a pretty dense move: In 2013 it released its own line of princess-themed dolls, Ever After High. Unless you’re a girl under 10—or the parent of one—you’ve probably never heard of them. Designed to be the teen children of Cinderella, Snow White, Little Red Riding Hood, and other characters, they wear platform shoes, bodices, and short, sometimes see-through skirts: tarted-up versions of Disney’s Princesses. Stephen Sumner, a former Barbie designer now at Hasbro, did early sketches of the line. He says Mattel envisioned a line of witch dolls, then realized another company already had one. “So they had to turn it into princesses, even though there was kind of an overlap,” he says. Because the dolls were based on traditional fairy tales, Mattel didn’t have to pay Disney licensing fees. Disney didn’t like the competition.

Several former Mattel employees point to the 2013 release of Ever After High as the last straw for Disney. Chris Sinclair, a Mattel board member who took over as CEO in January, agrees. “We got too competitive with them on Ever After High,” he says. According to Mattel’s annual report, Ever After High accounted for just $53 million in added sales last year.

Hasbro was busy working on its Descendants line when Disney called in early 2014 with a new proposal. “They said,” Goldner recalls, “ ‘What would you do if we gave you the entire Disney Princess business?’ ”

Disney explained that it was reimagining its princesses. Its license agreement with Mattel was coming up for renewal, and it was shopping for a new dollmaker. The company was starting to hear you’re-sending-the-wrong-message-to-our-daughter complaints from parents. The most biting criticism came from New York Times Magazine writer Peggy Orenstein , author of the 2011 book Cinderella Ate My Daughter . She often opined about the time her daughter’s dentist asked her to sit in his “princess chair” so he could “sparkle” her teeth. “Parents were talking about the ‘princess phase’ as if it were an actual stage of development,” says Orenstein.

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Ask yourself honestly, “When was the last time I truly felt Current/elliott Woman Distressed Midrise Flared Jeans Mid Denim Size 27 Current Elliott A4Fu74a
, freedom, and gratitude?” If you can’t remember, then you may be holding on to resentments.

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and fear. We constantly try to find quick fixes to soothe moments of blind rage and alleviate anxious thoughts. However, these “solutions” are usually nothing more than temporary fixes, which allow us to white knuckle it through one more day. Meanwhile, the root of the problem continues to fester and get worse until we can’t even bear to look at it anymore.

But what if you found out that there is a permanent, lasting way to feel less angry and fearful and finally regain control of your emotions?

It’s called letting go of resentment.

letting go of resentment.

Here’s how it works: resentment, anger, and fear are all connected. We become trapped in a self-obsessed cycle of being afraid of the future, angry in the present, and filled with resentment over our past. The antidote to fear is faith, the remedy for anger is love, and the solution to resentment is acceptance.


If you’re part of a 12-step program, this may sound familiar, but it can be applied to anyone’s life.

What is Resentment?

The best description of resentment I have ever heard came from listening to Dr. Drew from Loveline.

“Resentments are like swallowing poison and expecting the other people to die.”

He was not the first person to say this, but it’s still an incredibly effective way to understand resentment.

In psychology, resentment is when a person has ongoing upset feelings towards another person or place because of a real or imagined injustice.


One of the reasons resentments are so hard to get rid of is because there is so much bad advice floating around out there on how to deal with them. Exasperated friends may tell you to “Just get over it already.” Therapists might tell us to “let it go.” Other people may say “forget about it” or the even more unhelpful, “the past is the past.” Excuse me, what does any of that generic advice even mean?

I can tell you for sure that you shouldn’t do the following with resentments:

Instead, you should do these things:

“Fake it till you make it” doesn’t work when it comes to deep-seatedfeelings we have about certain people or situations. But dealing with them is certainly easier said than done.

How Do You Accept What Happened in the Past?

Before you begin to overcome resentments, you should know the following things:

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