How to Clean Up Pixels From a Blurred Picture

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.

Blurred silhouette of businessmen at table
Photo editing software such as Photoshop can significantly improve the quality of a photo by changing the pixels.
credit: Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images

Step

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

Step

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

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

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

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

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

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.