I do a low radius split and then clip a brightness/contrast adj. layer to it and bump the contrast to suit whatever feature I want sharpened and then rinse and repeat for areas that I want selectively sharpened.
Most of the time just high pass with a wide radius, softlight, invert mask, soft brush, and paint to desired effect. This is after finishing with all of the curves adjustments and such, I'm sure there are much more complex industry-standard ways of going about it.
By default, when I open a photo in Adobe Camera Raw, +50 sharpening is added. I have recently begun using High Pass to bring out skin texture in the TIFF file. I don't do final sharpening in the TIFF working file but in the final JPEG. For an 800-pixel wide JPEG, I usually add 50-150 sharpening using the Unsharp Mask.
Sometimes, for some reason facial skin shows more texture than skin elsewhere on the body, and occasionally that's too much texture. For my current avatar I added +100 sharpening with the Unsharp Mask, used a white layer mask with a black brush at 20% opacity to reduce the effect of sharpening on the facial skin with no reduction in sharpening on the lips, eyes and body skin.
Depends on the image and the output. I shoot pretty sharp images from start. High pass and/or Lab. The difficult part is finding a balance of how much to use for me. I mask and select areas on certain images but over all those are the two I use.
Sifu Robert Randall taught me a small trick about "sharpening the Black channel" when doing Custom CMYK conversion. This technique was more covered in detail in Mr. Margulis' CMYK Photoshop book. Like all tools, you need to to use the right tool for the job. The Black-channel sharpening is useful when wanting to bring out hair details or any details that are most prominently remain in the Black (K) channel.
If you don't lose the texture, it should be there in the end.
If you don't have that texture, it doesn't matter HOW you sharpen it, the final won't look the same.
Just in case, since I've been asked this question and it turned out the light in their original was flat, they used the wrong lens and cropped the image like 60% to get that frame. It's not going to happen.
I do a frequency split at a small radius. Dupe the high freq layer. Desaturate it. Then use the "blend if" sliders to pull the sharpening off the hard edges. If I shot with my very sharp Tamron, I'll set that layer to softlight. If I shot with my Nikon kit lens or my other zoom, I'll set it to one of the harder blend modes, such as linear. Adjust opacity and mask to taste.
I generally do USM on a duplicate layer with transparency at about 80%. Adjust USM for best result, then fine tune with transparency and masking. (For USM I use a high amount and low radius -- generally about 400 amount and 0.6 radius.
If I can't get it with USM I'll go to high pass.
For problem skin I retouch the really bad spots then make a dupe layer and use surface blur -- I put in too much blur the turn down the layer transparency until I get back a somewhat natural texture coming through, then mask hair, eyes, etc. Then I can put a USM layer over this.
Pretty often I use USM with an edge mask, like this:
Also, usually (it always depends on the image) I'll start with a very small radius -- 0.2 or 0.3 px -- and gradually increase it until it's too much, then back off a notch. I rarely get above 0.5 px. Also, I always sharpen on a smart object so I can re-adjust as needed and have two masks to work with.
I also use Topaz Detail quite a bit, again depending on the image. I have a photographer client who shoots a lot of birds. Topaz is great for bringing out fine detail in feathers. (It also is nice for enhancing skin texture that's a bit soft.)
PS -- Of course I usually do some sharpening in ACR before moving into Photoshop. The masking feature is nice. Too bad you can't save that mask as an alpha channel.
Jerry Bennett wrote: I do a frequency split at a small radius. Dupe the high freq layer. Desaturate it. Then use the "blend if" sliders to pull the sharpening off the hard edges. If I shot with my very sharp Tamron, I'll set that layer to softlight. If I shot with my Nikon kit lens or my other zoom, I'll set it to one of the harder blend modes, such as linear. Adjust opacity and mask to taste.
im going to have to look into that. I use frequency split for sharpening, but haven't thought about blend if. Sounds nice, as I often have to go below what I think is proper to get rid of crunchiness.
Mask Photo wrote: im going to have to look into that. I use frequency split for sharpening, but haven't thought about blend if. Sounds nice, as I often have to go below what I think is proper to get rid of crunchiness.
I like it too, clipping the pure whites and pure blacks helps get rid of excesses. Is is well described by Ron Bigelow, google it.
It works better however using the clipping mask over the HF layer (described by someone above already), than reducing the opacity of LF, with a curves layer or contrast (I prefer curves, to slow down on the edges).
The best sharpening technique however is a macro lens, on a tripod. It is never the same when I use the camera in hands... difference is visible especially when you resize the image.