5 Ways to Fix Blurry Photos in Photoshop

January 29, 2013

It’s happened to the best of us:  You have snapped the perfect “precious moment” shot, the one you can’t wait to send to Grandma, but when you transfer the file from your digital camera to your computer you discover the harsh reality that your photo is ruined.  Poor lighting, extraneous motion or some other flaw blurred your perfect shot, and you’ll never get it back.

Or can you?  Photoshop offers several tools and techniques you can employ to fix blurry photos.  You can’t get back what the camera didn’t shoot, but you can take the blurred edge off many photos with the following five tricks.

1.  Unsharp Mask

This tutorial from How-To Geek walks you through the process of using Photoshop’s unsharp mask filter to clean up blurry images.  Thus, you can go from this:

Reader Request How To Repair Blurry Photos - How-To Geek - Google Chrome_2013-01-16_12-31-45

To this:

Reader Request How To Repair Blurry Photos - How-To Geek - Google Chrome_2013-01-16_12-31-56


2.  High Pass Filter

Unsharp mask isn’t the only way to fix blurred images with Photoshop.  This tutorial by Digital Scrapper features both text and video instructions for using the high pass filter to achieve the same unblurred results for your digital masterpieces.

Use The High Pass Filter To Fix Slightly Blurry Photos Digital Scrapper Blog -_2013-01-16_12-38-36


3.  Sharpen and Emboss

This text-based, yet easy to follow, tutorial by Photoshop Ninja shows you how to use sharpen, emboss and other Photoshop filters to fix photos that are beyond repair for the unsharp mask method. The author claims this technique is employed by detectives to pull out photo details to help them solve crimes!

Photoshop Ninja - Google Chrome_2013-01-16_12-46-46


4.  LAB Color

Selective LAB sharpening can add richness, contrast and depth to blurred photos.  You might need to apply some other filters, such as smart sharpen, before using LAB color, but the end result can be striking, as evidenced by this Photo.net tutorial.

Advanced Photoshop Tutorial Sharpening in LAB Color - photo.net - Google Chrome_2013-01-16_12-59-40


5.  Keep waiting on Adobe

Adobe made a lot of buzz when it demoed an automatic deblur feature in 2011, but that feature didn’t make it into Photoshop CS6.  The reason is that it still has limitations, bugs that need worked out before it’s included in an official release package.  That being said, the demo’s reception is a good indicator that the deblur feature will one day be included in Photoshop.

Behind All the Buzz Deblur Sneak Peek PHOTOSHOP.COM BLOG - Google Chrome_2013-01-16_13-56-40

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About Brian Morris

Brian Morris serves in various capacities as a freelance writer, content developer and public relations specialist for growing small businesses. When he’s not writing, he can be found on the racquetball court - usually getting his tail kicked by guys 20 years older.

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