Over the past weeks we have explored various Filters in Photoshop:  How to create a Soft Lantern Glow (Lens Flare Filter),  Using the Shear Filter in Photoshop,  and Using the Liquify Filter in Photoshop.

We have had a request for  tutorials on other Photoshop filters, so today let’s look at the High Pass Filter and see how it can help us sharpen our images.

There are multiple ways to sharpen images in Photoshop.  This is a screenshot from Photoshop CC2014, so your screen may look different from mine, depending upon the Photoshop or Photoshop Elements version that you are using.  However, in general, if you go to the top Menu Bar:  Filter > Sharpen >   you will find various sharpening tools there.


The High Pass Filter is found in a different place:  top Menu Bar: Filter > Other > High Pass.


The High Pass Filter sharpens images by affecting only the edges of images, rather than the entire image.

Here is a shot of some rocks in my yard.


I’d like to sharpen this image a bit. Here’s how using the High Pass Filter:

1. Duplicate the image you wish to work with, using your favorite method. (I selected the layer in Photoshop, held down Control, and pressed the “J” key.)

2. Making sure your duplicated layer is selected, go to the top Menu Bar > Filter > Other > High Pass.

3. You will see your duplicated image turn gray, and an options box will open.


4.  The slider at the bottom of the options box controls the radius sharpening.   (The last sharpening that was used will reflect in the box when it opens. You can see here that the last sharpening I used was 1.6 pixels).  We want to drag the slider to the left or right until we see some nice edge selection.  In this photo, I have decided to use a radius of 7.4 pixels.  The amount of sharpening you choose will be dependent upon the image you are using.   Once you are satisfied, click OK.


5.  Change the Blend Mode of the High Pass layer to Overlay.



6. This is a little too sharp for my taste, so I can fix that in one of several ways:

  • I can Undo the High Pass Filter and reapply it, choosing a smaller pixel range.
  • I can lower the opacity of the High-Pass Layer in the layers panel.
  • I can change the blend mode of the High-Pass Layer to Soft Light instead of Overlay.  (Conversely, if I wanted the image to be just a little sharper, I could change the blend mode to Hard Light.)

I lowered the opacity of my High-Pass Layer to 79% and was happier with that.


And that’s how easy it is to use the High Pass Filter!

Wondering why I am taking pictures of rocks? I wanted to use them to create some papers in my Round Robin Collaboration, Garden Gate,  with Mel Designs.  Here is the Garden Gate paper I created, using the same image above (with some of the blue removed to better match our palette).



Our friend and fellow designer, Linda Cumberland, created this Garden Gate Cluster for you!  Just click the image below to download!


If you would like to keep this tutorial on your computer for easy reference, you may download a PDF here.

If you are a visual learner, you can view this tutorial on SnickerdoodleDesigns You Tube Channel  and on theStudio’s You Tube Channel.

Please head over to YouTube and take a minute to Follow both channels.  Each Channel will have some exclusive videos, so by following both channels, you will be sure not to miss a thing!  Thank you!


See you next week! And please keep the tutorial suggestions coming! I appreciate them all and will try to get to all of them!