Blurred Photos

Red eyes may be a pretty unpleasant defect to deal with but blurred photos certainly beat them. Sometimes a photo is slightly blurred and with some (or more) efforts, you can make it look decently. But it is important to know that there are cases when the blur is so bad that it cannot be repaired at all.

The first thing you must do before starting the repair of a blurred image is to make a backup copy of the original. Don’t rely on the Undo command. You can over-sharpen the image or save accidentally a changed version and then be unable to revert to the original, so always make backup copies when you repair blurred photos.

Generally in most image processing programs the command for repairing blurred photos is Sharpen. Sometimes you can achieve quick success with increasing the contrast of a picture because it might make it look less blurry but generally it is the Sharpen tool that does the work. You may sharpen the whole image, if this is necessary or only those parts of it that are especially blurry. Try for yourself to see what is working and what isn’t and if you are lucky and the image is not blurred beyond repair you might get a nicely looking photo.

As you will see, blur corrections can be very time consuming and the results are not always guaranteed. That is why it is much better to know why blurred images occur and what you can do to avoid them. The main reasons for blurred images are:

  • Focus. This is a very common reason. Your camera was not focused when taking the picture. Usually cameras indicate in some way (either with a sound, or with a light indicator) when they are focused, so before taking the picture, check if your camera is focused or not.
  • Slow shutter speeds. If the shutter speed of your camera is low, this usually increases blurring. Check if your camera can be manually set to a higher shutter speed.
  • Camera shake/moving objects. When taking pictures of moving objects (especially of objects moving at high speed) blurring is inevitable and there isn’t much you can do to prevent it. But if you discover that the camera (or your hands) is shaking, it is easy to make the camera static (i.e. use a tripod or even put in on an even surface) and decrease blurring.
  • Poor lightning. If the light is poor, not all cameras manage to react properly to it. All being equal, the poorer the lightning, the higher the blurring.

If you try the above techniques for avoiding blurred images and they still do not produce the desired results, a simple solution that often works is to take as many pictures of a scene as you can. For digital cameras the difference in quality between two photos taken one after the other can be significant.

Author: Ada Ivanova