Sharpening an image using a high-pass filter can really make it pop, however sharpening the entire frame doesn't always provide the best result, and adding tons of layers can become cumbersome. Fortunately, PiXimperfect's Unmesh Dinda has come up with a great new way to sharpen selected areas without adding a lot of unnecessary layers.
Like most of us would do, Dinda uses layer masks and a high-pass filter with an overlay blending mode to sharpen the eyes or lips of the model in a portrait. However, as he points out, if you wanted to add additional contrast in one of those selected regions, you would have to add an additional layer and reduce the opacity to get your preferred result. No big deal if you only want to sharpen one or two areas, but adding too many layers can become cumbersome, both in terms of workflow and memory requirements.
By following Dinda's advice, you can avoid the additional layer and still bump up the contrast (and, by extension, the amount of sharpening) in your selected area using a slider.
Dinda also gives us the action he describes in the video for download, allowing us to skip the process of following the tutorial, replicating his steps in Photoshop and creating our own action. For those of you unfamiliar with actions, you can simplify a repetitive process by recording each step into an action, which will then require one simple click to complete, as described by Robert K. Baggs in this article.
What do you think of Dinda's new use for the contrast slider? Will you use it in your workflow? Drop a comment below and let us know.