Plugin: Sharpen your photos on WordPress with ImageMagick

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Tired of having blurry lifeless WordPress images? I wrote a WordPress plugin for you. This plugin sharpens resized JPG image uploads and it works with ImageMagick so it keeps quality, EXIF information and color profiles. It also maintains the crops and other image proportions.
And as a bonus: it can do automatic leveling too, for perfect contrasts.

To me, as a photographer, it’s very important to give you the best presentation of my work in the best possible quality. Colors, sharpness: everything has to be perfect, especially here. I mean, you probably know how bad the Facebook compression is for photos, don’t you?
I use the popular WordPress platform to showcase my work. Unfortunately, WordPress resizes images after uploading without sharpening them. In the world of photography there’s a golden rule: sharpening after resizing. Always.

Ramona

On the left you see the unsharpened image. On the right you see the sharpened, crispy result.

Ramona in the image above is perfectly sharp on the right. Here the image is slightly sharper than it should, because my plugin is also applied automatically on this blog post, but you get the idea. Effectively, in this post the image has been double sharpened as a result.

Your host needs to have the imagick PHP module installed. The plugin has a built-in check.

If you don’t have the PHP imagick module installed you can still sharpen your images by using the Sharpen Resized Images plugin. It sharpens the images by using lower quality GD, so it strips EXIF data and it strips color profiles.

Cloudy Zwolle-Zuid

Also here unsharpened on the left and on the right you see the crispy, sharpened result.

After you enable the plugin it will only sharpen new uploads. There are no settings required. If you want to sharpen your already uploaded images you will also need the Regenerate Thumbnails plugin. Still no differences? Clear your browser cache. If you’re using Varnish cache or other server caches, empty them. Sharpening only works with JPG files.

I defined the for me optimal amount of sharpening. You can change it though by going in your WordPress Admin Settings to the IM Sharpen Images entry. The default settings are fine though (Radius 0, Sigma 0.5, Amount 1, Threshold 0). I defaulted the threshold to 0 because personally I want to retain fine skin details in my photos. You can change it to 0.05 for noisy images if it sharpens noise too much.

Downloading & installing:

The best way is automatically (you’ll also receive plugin updates):

Search in your WordPress installation while adding a new plugin for ImageMagick Sharpen Resized Images, install it and activate it.

Or:

Visit the plugin page on WordPress.org to download the plugin by following this link

Or:

Download Version 1.1.3 here (ZIP): ImageMagick Sharpen Resized Images Plugin

To install the plugin, download and unzip the file above. Upload the imagick-sharpen-resized-images folder to the /wp-content/plugins/ directory. Activate the plugin through the ‘Plugins’ menu in WordPress.
Check http://codex.wordpress.org/Managing_Plugins#Installing_Plugins for more detailed installation instructions.

In your WordPress Settings you’ll have a new admin entry: IM Sharpen Images.

Imagick Sharpen Resized Images Settings

Imagick Sharpen Resized Images Settings