In tribute to the late Bruce Fraser and his book, Real World Image Sharpening with Adobe Photoshop CS2.
This action was created following his instructions in the book.
This action includes content sharpening for a 12.8 Mega pixel camera, a 300ppi inkjet print sharpening and creative sharpening. The content sharpening can be adjusted to lower resolution cameras by increasing the radius in the first unsharp mask dialog box to:
< or equal to 4 mega pixels 1 pixel
6 mega pixels 0.6 pixel
8 mega pixels 0.5 pixel
> or equal to 11 mega pixels 0.4 pixel
The other dialog boxes should be left as is, only there so you can see what is happening.
Also included a mid tone contrast increaser, noise reduction for digital capture, a sharpen brush, a stronger sharpen brush called Texture Brush. A smoothing brush, a DOF brush for sharpening content that is slightly out of the depth of field. Nothing can sharpen a out of focus shot. The haze brush is a sharpening brush with a slight warming filter added. All sharpening and creative brushes are built on a new layer so you can adjust the opacity of the layer. All creative brushes are masked so you can paint the mask with white so the effect will only happen where you want. Note that that this is all pre-sharpening and output sharpening must be applied according to output resolution and output device. The ink jet sharpener is for a 8 x10 inch print at 300 ppi.
Get Bruce's book and you will understand all about sharpening from beginning to end.
This action was created in CS3 but uses basic Photoshop commands so it should work in earlier versions, not tested though!
Download the action Here