Sharpening Images and Image Elements

No filter or tool can make a major improvement if your photo is strongly blurred. But if your picture is only slightly out of focus or has a shallow depth of field, you can sharpen it easily. However, it is not possible to improve the quality of the picture. Pictures aren't enriched with more detail. Instead, the existing details and contours are accentuated by enhancing the light/dark contrasts at the edges of the objects and contours in the pictures (especially with the Unsharp Mask filter).

GIMP offers various options to sharpen fuzzy photographs. There are two filters to choose from: Sharpen and Unsharp Mask (Filters > Enhance > Sharpen/ Unsharp Mask). These filters affect the entire picture or the active layer. You can, however, also select a section in the image to restrict the filter's effect to that area.

The Blur/Sharpen Tool lets you use a brush to sharpen or blur sections of your photo. This tool becomes interesting if you want to blur sections after having sharpened them. Pictures that have been sharpened too much get stark contours and increased noise. These blemishes can be fixed with the Blur/Sharpen Tool or the Smudge Tool.

Let us have a look at the two available filters.

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