Alex and I have made a great discovery in our quest for sharp photos. Naturally, we must share. And since I've been meaning post some tips on black and white photoshopping for awhile, I thought I'd combine them. Below is a picture of some flowers, straight out of camera. I actually don't mind the sharpness level on this one, but I have noticed that . . .
Frequently when I change photos from color to grayscale, my pictures look just a little flat, as below. They don't have that black and white drama that really flips my skirt. To get here, I just went Image > mode > grayscale. But I want a little more drama, so . . .
I went to Image > Adjustments > brightness and contrast, and ramped up the contrast until it was more what I wanted. I'm actually pretty happy with the picture below. You can see the difference a lot better when it's on human faces, but I really liked these roses.
Now, if I wanted those roses to look even sharper, I would use the high pass filter, as seen in the picture below. I pushed Ctrl + J to create a new layer, then went to Filter > Other > High Pass and left the radius around 1 or 2 pixels. Then changed the Layer type from "Normal" to "Overlay." This is a subtle way to create more crispness if you are just using the kit lens with your digital SLR.
If you have latest favorite photoshop tips or questions, do share!