Thu 11-Feb-10 10:56 AM | edited Thu 11-Feb-10 11:08 AM by ericbowles
I'm still learning to use High Pass as well.
The approach I am using is to use High Pass when you have reflective surfaces - such as for selective sharpening of eyes in a portrait. It also is good for subtle details. This approach and the settings were recommended by a Nikon School instructor. He did not claim this was the only approach.
As a starting point, set the Radius to the number of megapixels of your camera. With a D300 I set Radius to 12.
Open up Opacity and change the Blending Mode to Overlay.
Use the Opacity slider to set the amount of sharpening that you desire. I use 30% for a subtle impact.
The first image was resized and then had Unsharp Mask applied.
The second image had High Pass sharpening applied as described above and then was resized and had Unsharp Mask applied. The Unsharp Mask settings were the same for both images. Sharpening was applied globally rather than selectively for illustraiton of the impact.
It's probably hard to see the difference in this tiny JPEG. Note the increased definition of highlghts, and some of the subtle detial that shows in the wood with High Pass version - especially on the left edge of the violin
I have a different approach. I am not saying it is better than others, it just the way I use it.
For images with hard edges (Structures, cars/transportation,), I will view an area at 100% and set HP to 1 to 2 pixels and opacity between 50-80%. What I am looking for is the edges to become more defined without getting too jagged. Then I will add USM at a low setting, 30-5-4. If the edge looks well defined, I accept the changes and turn the step off. Then I zoom out to full size and toggle the step on and off to be sure it looks good to me. I use a USM "snapshot" setting of 50-5-4 without HP for images that are not that important to me.
I use this for portraits as well but only apply it to the eyes, lips, highlights in the hair and perhaps jewelry if everything is in focus.
I am going to try the method detailed above. Sounds interesting.
Gary also look at the other discussion here about Unsharp Mask as we discussed High Pass as well. The key is that High pass is usually for images with sharp edges and it has to be used sparingly. I don't use any preset, I just move the slider until I start to see the edges I want to sharpen. Then I adjust opacity to suit. I also often use two different forms of USM one with a high amount and low radius as is the normal use and another with a low amount and high radius. The second is generally for images that don't have sharp edges, like water, as it gives you a more molded 3d effect, the first for general use. In portraits it makes sense to apply all 3 as it will give you better portraits.
The images I posted are too small to really see the difference.
Here are 100% crops. Look at the detail in the grain and the edge reflections. The only difference in these two is the applicaiton of High Pass. Normally I would apply Unsharp mask after resizing, but do to the 100% crop I did not apply any edits after resizing.
Unsharp Mask only - 100% crop
Unsharp Mask and High Pass - 12 pixels and 30% opacity
I think a combination would. The key to HiPass is using a very small amount, but I think it would do a good job on fur and if you shoot birds, feather detail. I would then overlay a small USM sharpening as well.
>Just a generalized question but would the use of the High >Pass filter work better for animals than USM? > > >My goal in life is to be the person my dog already thinks I >am. > >Children are for people who can't have dogs. ~Author Unknown
I use the ovelay mode with high pass sharpening selectively on most all my wildlife images. I use a small global sharpening, then the last step after cropping, if needed, I selectively use high pass on the eyes and the tips of the fur, feathers,etc. I rarely use it on the edges.