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Frequency Separation for Dummies in Photoshop

You may have heard of this technique called frequency separation where you magically separate the details in your image from the colors and tones to be able to manipulate both independently, right? It’s used a lot in skin retouching, and it really gives you incredible flexibility. Variants of this technique are also used in landscape and architecture photography to really accentuate the details of an image without introducing artifacts like halos.

Now, the problem with frequency separation is traditionally that your head may explode while you’re trying to understand what’s happening. Most tutorials just simply show you what to do without deciphering all the scary parts like the Apply Image… command. After that you just turn into a robot, creating those layers, typing in those numbers without every knowing what you do or how to change the procedure to adapt it to other situations.

The Tutorial

In the video below, David Biedny explains the technique and really shows you what it all means. This is the best tutorial on frequency separation I’ve seen to date. It really empowers you to make this powerful technique your own and use it to fit your photography.

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The relevant section of this longer video is over 20 minutes long. Please bear with David as he really makes this technique accessible for you. Explaining such a complex technique simply takes some time. But its time well-invested.

Are you using Frequency Separation in your post-processing work? Share your experiences and tips in the comments below.

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2 Comments on "Frequency Separation for Dummies in Photoshop"


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David Biedny
1 year 8 months ago

Thanks for the kind comments, glad you enjoyed the video!