how to fix blurry digital photos

Do you want to know how to fix blurry digital photos? This post will help you learn how to how to fix blurry pictures online or on your own computer. Let's look at the two main causes of blurry photos first and then work on repairing the blur afterwards. If this page is helpful to you, please share it.

Causes of blurry digital photos

1. motion blur

Motion blur may be blur caused by movement of the subject or by movement of the camera lens or, by what's even more complicated, a combination of movement of both. There are a few situations where you may actually want to have a blurry background to create a sense of speed or blur the background on purpose to bring attention to your subject.

Of course the best way to fix blurry photos is to prevent blurriness from happening in the first place. That's the goal to achieve and here is an article to read more on that: Blurry Pictures. Here are the simplest and most effective ways to avoid blurry images.

  1. Higher shutter speeds. If you adjust your camera's settings to give you a faster shutter speed, any blur from camera or subject movement will be minimized. The faster you make your shutter speed, the less time your subject or camera can possibly move and create blurriness. 
  2. Use your flash to freeze motion. Your camera's flash only lasts for about 1/500 of a second or less. That's plenty fast enough to "freeze" most of the subjects you are photographing, provided the shutter speed isn't too slow.
  3. Try a tripod. Both tripods and monopods will help you steady your camera. Image stabilization is likely built into your camera but there's nothing better than having a physical support to hold you camera in place to improve your photos sharpness. Using a tripod or a monopod will not prevent blurry photos that come from your subject movement. Then you need to fix your blurry photo by using either method 1 or 2 above to stop the motion of your subject.


2. focus blur

If it is moderate or severe focus blurriness, it's much more difficult to fix. I've had lots of success in fixing digital pictures that are just a smidgeon out of focus. If your photos are way out of focus, then delete them and learn how to prevent blurriness next time.

I learned a great technique from Scott Kelby's book on Photoshop retouching for portrait photographers and I use that extensively when I need it. It's too lengthy and in-depth for this article, but it's available for those of you who want to delve into sophisticated technique.

If I miss the focus a little, it is often because I like to use a very shallow depth of field for portraits of individuals. I shoot with my Canon 70-200 "L" lens set at f2.8. I do this purposely to throw the background out of focus but it makes the placement of exact focus on the eyes critical.

Here's a great example of a creative way to use focus blur. Check out this engagement photo. 

Intentional background blur

This technique can make your photos stand out from the crowd. Here's the post showing examples of intentionally blurring part of the background with a narrow depth of field.


How to fix blurry digital photos with software

Focus magic-software to fix blurry digital photos

Focus Magic is software that tackles both kinds of blur.

In particular its strength seems to be when fixing blur from slight camera movement. Focus Magic can be used as a plug-in in Photoshop as well as with other image editing programs.

You only have to buy the software once. Acclaim software, the company that makes Focus Magic lets you upgrade each time they improve the software. If you get a new computer, you just ask them for the new registration code. The first version was released back in December of 2000. It wasn't very good software at that point. Since that time, Acclaim Software has

  • reduced the "digital noise"
  • reduced the computer memory used
  • reduced the "halo" effect
  • improved its speed
  • lessened the "water color" effect

Their website has useful tutorials on how to repair photos that are blurry from out-of-focus and motion-blur causes.

Blurity-software to repair blurry digital pictures

You can also download software called Blurity to fix blurry digital photos.

It can also remove small amounts of focus blur. Blurity has a FREE download of it's software. The free version puts an "unregistered" watermark on photo, but you can at least "try before you buy." If you like the results, you can pay for a registration key for the standard or for a pro version.

The Blurity web site has several blurry images that you can download and try the software on. On its features page, the site also does a comparison of features between Blurity, Focus Magic and Unsharp Mask in PhotoShop.


Fixing blurry photos with software can give you mixed results because each photo will have individual characteristics that will affect the repair you attempt. These factors include:

  • The amount and type of blur
  • Contrast and color
  • ISO setting used on your digital camera
  • Sensor size
  • Lens
  • Camera or software that was used to process the original image
  • Exposure (aperture and shutter speed)

The Blurity site also has an on-line manual in its support section to help you better understand how to use the software. There is always the chance that the inexperienced user will over-sharpen the blur and get UN-natural results. It will take a bit of experimenting to get used to the software no matter how you are trying to fix blurry digital photos.

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