How To Fix Blurry Photos & Pictures
Advancements in camera technology have improved our photos so much over the past few decades. But, they can still come out blurry or distorted depending on lighting, movement, and other factors. Fortunately, there are ways that you can fix your imperfect photos.
This article will teach you how to fix blurry photos using various software programs.
How to Fix Blurry Photos
These days we need to take and edit photos on the go and from anywhere. In this section, we’ll cover mobile and desktop options.
How to Fix Blurry Photos on Mobile Devices
Whether you’re using a tablet or smartphone, there are some amazing third-party applications that will fix your blurry photos. What’s even better is that you can use these apps on both Android and iOS devices.
Snapseed is a simple and popular photo editing application available in the Google Play Store and Apple’s App Store. Here’s how you can use it to sharpen your photos:
- Open Snapseed and tap the ‘+’ to edit your blurry photo.
- Tap on Tools at the bottom of the page.
- Tap on Details in the editing menu.
- Tap on the selections option in the bottom center of the page.
- Scroll to Sharpen and use the slider to adjust your photo.
When you’re finished making your adjustments, tap on the checkmark in the lower right-hand corner. Then, you can download your photo to your device without watermarks and for free.
Adobe Lightroom is another great application you can use to fix blurry photos for free and on the go. Fortunately, this app is also available on the Google Play Store and App Store. Here’s how to fix that blurry photo:
- Open Adobe Lightroom on your mobile device and tap on the photo icon with a ‘+’ symbol. Upload your blurry photo. Then, tap it to open the editor.
- Tap on Presets at the bottom.
- Tap on Sharpening.
- Choose the level of sharpening you need based on how blurry the photo is.
- Tap on the checkmark in the upper right-hand corner to save the changes you’ve made.
Both of these apps are easy to use, free, and very helpful for fixing blurry photos.
How to Fix Blurry Photos on a Mac
Mac users can take advantage of the native editing software to clear up blurry photos. The process is really simple if you follow these steps:
- Open the Photos app on your Mac and select the photo you want to work with.
- Click Edit in the upper right-hand corner.
- Click Sharpen on the menu to the right. Then, move the sliders to make the adjustments you need to make your photo less blurry.
- When you’re finished editing the photo, click Done in the upper right corner.
Now, the new and improved version of the photo will appear in the Photos app.
Fix Blurry Photos on PC Using Paint.net
PC users have an exclusive software at their disposal called Paint.net. Like the other methods we’ve discussed, Paint.net is free, easy-to-use, and great for making your photos less blurry. You’ll need to start by downloading the editing program here.
Fortunately, Paint.net has a couple of tricks up its sleeve to help mitigate some of my poor photography skills. One of which is the ability to sharpen an out-of-focus or blurry image.
- Open Paint.net and open the image you want to edit.
- Select Effects, Photo and then Sharpen.
- Use the slider to sharpen the image. Slide from left to right to sharpen.
- Find the level that works best and select OK.
- Save the image.
There will be some sliding back and forth to find the right level, but you will know it when you see it. Go too far, and the image becomes distorted, and color may disappear. Don’t go far enough, and your image will remain slightly blurry.
Blur the Background While Keeping the Subject Sharp in Paint.net
Conversely, there are times when purposely blurring an image can work wonders. For example, blurring the background of an image makes the subject pop out and can have quite an artistic effect. In this context, the subject is the centerpiece of the image, the part you want to remain sharp while all else is blurred.
- Open Paint.net and open the image you want to edit.
- Press Ctrl + A to select all.
- Press Ctrl + C to copy all.
- Press Ctrl + Shift + V to paste all into a new layer. You should see a new layer box appear in the bottom right, Layer 1 (or Background) and Layer 2.
- Select the eraser from the tools menu on the left.
- Resize the brush width to be able to cover the subject of the image comfortably.
- Select the little check box next to Layer 1 or Background to deselect it.
- Erase the subject by using smooth erasing moves to include all of the image. You will see a gray and white box where you erase, don’t worry this is fine.
- Select the little check box next to Layer 1 or Background to select it. The subject should now return.
- Select Effects, Blur and Gaussian Blur.
- Use the slider to select a level of blur and see how much of the subject you covered.
A little experimentation will be necessary to capture the subject and offer enough blur to the image to make it stand out.
Tips for taking sharper pictures
While image editing tools are very good at what they do, they aren’t magic. We, as photographers, do have some responsibility to take good shots. Here are a few tips I got from a professional photographer friend of mine for taking sharper pictures.
Hold the camera/phone properly
Camera shake is one of the biggest culprits of blurry pictures. Hold the camera in both hands, try to support yourself on something like a wall, tree, or whatever, and do what you can to remain still. In an ideal world, you would use a tripod, but that isn’t always possible.
If you use a camera and not a phone, using the correct shutter speed can go a long way to improve picture quality. The faster the shutter speed, the lower the chances of blurry pictures.
If you use a fast shutter speed, you also need to make your aperture larger. Experiment to find a happy medium between shutter speed and aperture for your style of photography.
Many newer camera phones and standalone cameras use image stabilization which helps reduce camera shake. This will need experimentation as it comes with compromises.
Finally, the focus has quite the impact on the blurriness of pictures. Autofocus is great, but it isn’t perfect. Give the camera a second to get good focus if possible, and then take the shot if you have manual focus, practice, practice, practice!