Camera Shake or Out of Focus Rescue

This sharpening technique can rescue an image that is soft because of camera shake or focusing problems. It makes use of Layers and Blend modes to reduce the effects of noise and sharpening artefact's. Copy background layer.

  • If your image needs Levels and or Curves adjustments do these before sharpening.

  • Change the Blend Mode of the copy layer to Luminosity

  • Apply Unsharp Mask filter. Try settings of Amount = 250, Radius = 1, Threshold = 1. You can experiment with these settings. They vary dependent on the amount of correction you need and the size of your image.
At this stage you should see a marked improvement in the appearance of your image. There is a next step you can try if your image has a lot of noise and or halo.

  • Duplicate the copy layer, go to Filter, Blur, Gaussian Blur and set an Amount of 3. Change the Blend mode to Color. If needed you can change the Layer opacity .

  • Flatten the image and proceed.
It should be obvious but the image on the left is before sharpening and the one on the right after. It is not a perfect solution particularly if the unsharpness is caused by camera shake but it can be very successful with slightly out of focus images.