TLR Clarity Enhancement builds on the ideas of Michael Reichmann, Thomas Knoll, and Mac Holberts of Nash Editions. It provides an effect similar to the Clarity slider in Adobe Lightroom and Adobe Camera RAW. Hence the name, TLR Clarity Enhancement.
This is a form of creative sharpening that provides a general contrast boost in the middle tones. The result is more "pop" and "snap" for your photos. It's great for reducing the effects of haze.
How It Works
Michael Reichmann and Thomas Knoll described an effect called Local Contrast Enhancement. The idea was to use USM sharpening with a large radius and a small amount setting. I describe this technique in detail in my sharpening video and eBook and in a tip called Local Contrast Enhancement. Dan Margulis calls this same technique HIRALOAM sharpening.
Mac Holberts of Nash Editions put a twist on the technique. He uses High Pass sharpening instead of USM and restricts the effect to the mddle tones. Adobe, with consulting from Bruce Fraser and Jeff Schewe, incorporated the technique into Lightroom and ACR.
TLR Clarity Enhancement uses High Pass sharpening at a high radius with an overlay blend. The effect is restricted to the middle tones with Blend If slider settings fom the Photoshop Layers Style palette. A Smart Filters layer is used for two reasons: to provide the ability to adjust the High Pass setting and to be able to add a Luminosity blend to the layer and reduce color shifts.
The effect is easily customized. The layer opacity can be adjusted to increase or decrease the effect. The Blend If settings can be adjusted to restrict the effect more to the middle tones or allow it to extend more ino the quarter and three-quarter tones. If you like, you can also double-click on the High Pass effect under the Smart Filters layer and adjust the High Pass filter settings.