In a recent blog post Trey Ratcliff shares the following picture: Ancient Mount Fuji Village

About the processing he says:

To achieve it [...], you can duplicate the layer then do some extreme sharpening and a black and white conversion using something like Silver Efex Pro [...]. After that, you can change the blend mode to Hard Light… it makes an interesting effect!

I would like to know how to replicate this effect in Gimp.

Here is what I have so far:

Version 1


Version 2

In the first version, I did as he said: Duplicate layer. The top layer gets B&W conversion (Luminance) and then sharpening (92 in Gimp) applied. Then I used Hard Light as the layer mode. Finally, I reduced the saturation a bit in the lower layer.

In the second version, I did roughly the same. I used harder sharpening (99 in Gimp). Then I added a mask to the top layer, so that the sky and the people are from the bottom layer. The sky so that it is not blown out, and the people just because.

My source image might not have been the best maybe. I see that Ratcliff's photo has harsh shadows, nice background and lots of detailed foreground.

Can you achieve something better?


1 Answer 1


If you click through the blog image to the smugmug gallery you can download the full resolution version.

Looking at that it seems "extreme sharpening" refers to the diameter as well as the strength of the unsharp mask. This has the effect of increasing microcontrast (at the expense of halos around edges). Try setting the diameter to something like 5 pixels and trying again.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Good idea! Alas, the sharpen option (Filters>Enhance>Sharpen) does not allow setting the diameter. \$\endgroup\$
    – Unapiedra
    May 13, 2013 at 11:51
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @Unapiedra if you go to Filters > Enhance > Unsharp Mask you can specify the radius (which is half the diameter ;) \$\endgroup\$
    – Matt Grum
    May 13, 2013 at 12:56
  • \$\begingroup\$ that seems to be a different version of Gimp. Gimp 2.6 has it, 2.8(I think) doesn't. I'll experiment and then report my progress. \$\endgroup\$
    – Unapiedra
    May 13, 2013 at 14:03
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @Unapiedra Gimp 2.8 does have Unsharp Mask, just below the Sharpen filter \$\endgroup\$
    – clabacchio
    May 14, 2013 at 11:53

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