Use the Detail panel in Adobe Lightroom Classic to sharpen your photo and bring out details.
Snow-capped mountains with evergreen trees in front against a light blue sky.

Select a photo to edit

In Lightroom Classic, click the Develop module.

From the Filmstrip at the bottom of your window, select a photo to edit. If you don't see the Filmstrip, click the small triangle at the bottom of your screen. Or, to follow along with the sample, download "sharpen-blurry-photo.jpg" using the link above.

Tip: Need help getting your photos into Lightroom Classic? Learn how.

Shoreline with grassy cliffs against a pale, cloudy sky is selected in Lightroom Classic’s Filmstrip.

Open the Detail panel

Open Detail panel on the right side of your workspace. If you don't see the panel, click Detail to open it. 

You'll use the settings in this panel to sharpen and clarify details in your photo.

The Details panel in Lightroom Classic is highlighted and the shoreline image is ready for editing.

Adjust sharpening settings

Locate the Sharpening section in the Detail panel. This section contains several options you can use to sharpen the image.

Adjust the Amount slider, which is a setting that specifies the amount of definition in your photo. Adjusting it gives the photo a crisp, sharp appearance. Drag the slider to experiment with the amount of sharpness.

For the sample photo, set an Amount to 85.

The Sharpening slider is adjusted to give a crisp, sharp appearance to the shoreline.

Adjust sharpening settings (cont.)

Two other Sharpening settings are important:

  1. Adjust Radius, which specifies how large the details of a photo are as you sharpen the image. A smaller radius value works well for photos with lots of small details such as landscapes. A larger radius value works well for photos such as still lifes or photos of people, which tend to have large details. For the sample, set the Radius to 1.0.
  2. Adjust Detail, which specifies how much emphasis the edges in a photo have. A higher detail value defines textures, while a lower value removes blurriness. For the sample, set the Detail to 25.
The Radius and Detail sliders determine how large the details of the image are and how much definition is created.

Preview your changes

See how your sharpening has affected the photo. Click the 1:1 option in the Navigator panel on the left side of your workspace, which zooms in to a 100% view of the photo.

Locate the view options bar underneath your photo. Click the icon highlighted in the screenshot to see the before and after view. Click and drag within your photo to compare the original photo with the sharpened photo.

To return to a normal view, click FIT in the Navigator panel, and press D on your keyboard to return to a single photo view.

Before: Close-up of grassy areas on cliffs appears blurry. After: Grassy areas are sharper with more definition.

Keep experimenting

By applying sharpening settings to a photo, you can help to emphasize smaller details in your photo, reduce any blurriness, and help to clarify the overall image.

You can use this technique on any photo to prepare it for sharing it online, using it in creative projects, or printing it for display.

Tip: Ready to export your photo from Lightroom Classic? Learn how

Corrected image of shoreline with grassy cliffs shows clearly defined transitions between land and water.
08/30/2021
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