“High Pass” sharpening in Photoshop has made such a huge difference in my photos, I have to share this for anyone looking to take things up another notch.
1) Edit your RAW photo (because why would you ever not shoot in RAW?) to your liking and flatten.
2) Double click the background layer and click “OK” in the dialog box that appears; this converts the background to an “unlocked” layer.
3) Duplicate the layer either by dragging it down to the “Create a new layer” icon (fastest way) or by clicking “Layer -> Duplicate Layer.”
4) Be sure the duplicate layer is selected and then click “Filter -> Other -> High Pass.”
5) In the dialog box that appears, try a radius from 1.0 to 2.5 (rarely higher) and judge how much sharpening you want applied in the preview window.
6) Click “OK.”
7) Set the blending mode for that layer to “Overlay.”
8) Flatten image for the last time.
For best results, be sure to use an image that is sufficiently sharp to begin with (tripod, tripod, tripod) or you’re just putting lipstick on a pig.