Sharpening in Adobe Lightroom CC Classic


In the following video I walk you through the steps of sharpening your images in Adobe Lightroom CC Classic.

For this video I am using a Raw files from a Fujifilm X-Pro 2 camera.

When discussing Sharpening in image processing we usually talk of Input Sharpening and Output Sharpening. Input Sharpening is what I talk about mainly in this video, although I do also cover Output Sharpening.

In Adobe Lightroom you will find the Sharpening options under the 'Detail' panel which is in the right hand panel group when in the Develop Module.

Sharpening options in Detail Panel.

We have four main sliders in the Sharpening settings:

  • Amount
  • Radius
  • Detail
  • Masking


Amount is simply the amount of sharpening applied.

Zero would be no sharpening applied at all, 25 is the default amount applied to Raw files by Lightroom as standard. JPG files do not have sharpening applied by Lightroom as they have already been sharpened by the camera.


Radius is the amount around the edges that Lightroom will sharpen. Default amount is 1.0, this is 1 pixel. You can go up to 3.0 pixels, which will affect a larger area around the edge. I have to say I generally keep this at 1.0 pixel and it seems to give pretty good results.


Moving the Detail slider will change how much detail is affected by the sharpening. A low amount only affects bigger and bolder edges and the more you move the slider up to the right, the more finer detail that is also affected by sharpening.


Masking is a really useful part of this whole process. It means you can mask out some areas of the image that you do not want to apply the sharpening to. Given that sharpening an image can make noise more apparent in the image it might be a good idea to mask out certain areas that you do not wish to sharpen, such as the sky in a landscape or skin tones in a portrait. In a portrait we do not want to sharpen skin tones as we will be enhancing any skin flaws and just make the skin look bad.

Full size image with custom sharpening applied.

Detail crop with custom sharpening applied.