LIVE Q&A | The Best Order for Retouching and Sharpening

Are you struggling to find the best order for retouching and sharpening your photos? In our latest blog post, we will be diving into the world of Live Q&A to answer all your burning questions about the best practices for enhancing the quality of your images. Whether you’re a beginner looking for some guidance or a seasoned pro looking to pick up some new tips and tricks, our experts are here to help. Join us as we explore the most effective techniques for retouching and sharpening your photos to create stunning and professional-looking images. Let’s get started!

LIVE Q&A | The Best Order for Retouching and Sharpening

The Best Order for Retouching and Sharpening


When it comes to post-processing your photos, the order in which you retouch and sharpen your images can make a significant difference in the final result. In this live Q&A session, experts will discuss the best order for retouching and sharpening to achieve stunning photographs.

Retouching Techniques

Retouching is the process of enhancing or correcting imperfections in a photograph to achieve a desired look. There are several retouching techniques that can be applied to improve the quality of an image:

Skin Retouching

When retouching portraits, skin retouching is often a crucial step in achieving a flawless complexion. Techniques such as spot removal, skin smoothing, and blemish correction can help create a polished look without compromising the natural beauty of the subject.

Color Correction

Color correction involves adjusting the colors in an image to achieve a more accurate representation of the scene. This step can help ensure that the colors in your photograph are vibrant and true to life.

Exposure Adjustment

Exposure adjustment involves fine-tuning the brightness and contrast of an image to ensure that the details are clear and the overall tone is balanced. This step is crucial in achieving a well-exposed photograph.

Sharpening Techniques

Sharpening is the process of enhancing the clarity and detail in an image to give it a crisp, professional look. There are several sharpening techniques that can be applied to improve the sharpness of your photos:

Capture Sharpening

Capture sharpening is applied to counteract the softening effect that occurs during the image capture process. This technique helps to enhance the overall sharpness of the image without introducing artifacts.

Creative Sharpening

Creative sharpening is used to enhance specific areas of an image, such as edges or textures, to give them more definition and impact. This technique can help draw attention to important elements in the photograph.

Output Sharpening

Output sharpening is applied to compensate for the loss of sharpness that occurs when an image is resized and prepared for a specific output, such as printing or web display. This technique ensures that the final image appears sharp and detailed in its intended format.

The Best Order for Retouching and Sharpening

Experts recommend following a specific order when retouching and sharpening your images to achieve the best results:

1. Start with retouching techniques, such as skin retouching, color correction, and exposure adjustment, to enhance the overall quality of the image.

2. Apply capture sharpening to address any softness introduced during image capture and improve the overall sharpness of the photograph.

3. Continue with creative sharpening to enhance specific areas of the image and draw attention to key elements.

4. Finally, apply output sharpening to ensure that the final image appears sharp and detailed in its intended format.


By following the recommended order for retouching and sharpening, photographers can achieve stunning photographs that are sharp, detailed, and visually appealing. Whether you are a beginner or a seasoned professional, mastering these techniques can help elevate your photography to the next level.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best order for retouching and sharpening?

The best order for retouching and sharpening your images is to first start with retouching to correct any imperfections and enhance the overall look of the image. Once you have completed the retouching process, you can then move on to sharpening to enhance the details and make the image appear crisper.

Should I perform retouching and sharpening on the same layer?

It is recommended to perform retouching and sharpening on separate layers to maintain control over each step of the editing process. This will allow you to easily adjust the intensity of the retouching and sharpening effects without affecting the original image.

What tools are best for retouching and sharpening?

There are a variety of tools available for retouching and sharpening images, but some popular options include Adobe Photoshop, Lightroom, and Capture One. These programs offer a wide range of features and tools that can help you achieve professional-looking results. Experiment with different tools to find the ones that work best for your specific needs.

I hope you find useful my article LIVE Q&A | The Best Order for Retouching and Sharpening, I also recommend you to read my other posts in my blog at this link.

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