The Digital Photo Guy

USM (Unsharp Mask) Webinar

by on Jul.13, 2011, under Lightroom, Monday Morning Tips, Photo Editing, Photos, Photoshop CS2/4, Photoshop Elements

Wrap You Mind Around USM


USM (Unsharp Mask) has been the “go-to” tool for sharpening in most advanced photo editing tools (Photoshop, Photoshop Elements, Lightroom, etc) for many years. I’m not positive but I believe USM was in Photoshop version 1 (hard to believe that was 1988.)

USM has its roots in the film era when an unsharp mask would be created by hand to add contrast to edges and enhance perceived sharpness. Can you imagine using an X-acto knife to tediously cut out edges where you want to add sharpening? That required patience and skill far beyond what most photographers have or are willing to learn. The width of the edge determined the amount of sharpness.

When USM was introduced to the digital world, photographers thought they had died and gone to heaven. But, as time progressed, people started seeing the shortcomings of USM and new technologies started to evolve. However, USM has withstood the test of time and remains a mainstay in the digital photographer’s toolkit.

Knowing how and when to use USM is an important skill for digital photographers. A full class on USM would take hours if not days but you can get your mind around the basic concepts in this 30 minute webinar. For just $3 and 30 minutes of your time, learn how to apply USM to make your photos look their best. Click HERE to register.


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