How to Clean Up Pixels From a Blurred Picture

By Sarka-Jonae Miller

Even the most skilled photographers sometimes take a blurry picture. If your camera wasn't on the right settings when you took the picture or if your subject was moving, the resulting picture may be blurry or have some blurry spots. Photo editing software allows you to make a photo less blurry using several techniques. These techniques clean up the pixels. Pixel, short for picture element, is a single point of an image. Photo editing tools help bring the photo back into focus through rearranging the pixels.

Things You'll Need

  • Computer
  • Photo editing software

Step 1

Add the Unsharp mask plugin. Select "Filters" and then "Enhance" from the filters menu. Select "Unsharp Mask."

Step 2

Reset the image to the default values. Increase the radius and the amount until the image becomes sharper. Don't increase the values more than you have to because they can add noise to the image, which looks blurry. It could also add visible artifacts to edges that were sharp.

Step 3

Reduce blur in certain areas of the picture using the sharpen tool. Select the toolbox and then choose "Sharpen." This may also be called "Blur." Move the paintbrush over the blurry area of the photo. Use this tool sparingly as it can give your picture an unnatural look if the area you sharpen is in obvious contrast to the surrounding area.

Step 4

Add the Neat Image plugin by selecting "Neat Image" from the filter menu. Go to "Recent Preset" and select "Advanced." Select "Remove." This gets rid of half of your photo's weaker noise.

Step 5

Go to the filter menu and select "Smart Blur." This should make your photo appear warmer and make it easier to distinguish between the background and focal points.

Step 6

Increase sharpness with the high pass tool. Go to the filter menu, choose "Other" and then select "High Pass." Set the radius to between 0.5 and 0.8 pixels.

Step 7

Lower the opacity if the image is now too sharp. Go to the opacity option in the top right-hand corner and select a lower percentage.

Tips & Warnings

  • You may find that one or all of these techniques reduces blurriness in your photo, but using them all or even a particular one may create an artificial look. Save each version before applying a new tool or apply them on different layers so that you can easily compare and select the best version.
  • The most popular photo editing program is Photoshop. If you have another program, the tools may have different names even though they perform generally the same task. Most of these plugins work with other programs.