How to Fix Out of Focus Digital Photos

By Ashley Bustamante

One of the most frustrating moments in photography happens when you snap a great photo, only to find out your main subject is not completely in focus. Unfortunately, there is no way to completely correct an out-of-focus photo. However, there are some tricks you can use to make it more presentable so that it won't be a total throw-away.

How to Fix Out of Focus Digital Photos

Get a digital image. This can be done by scanning an image onto your computer or by uploading directly from your digital camera.

Open the image in your photo software.

Use the Sharpen tool. Some programs will have a Sharpen filter. If so, use this. Otherwise run the Sharpen tool manually over the areas you want to sharpen.

Use the blur tool to blend areas that may have become too grainy during sharpening.

Increase the contrast of the photo. This will often help an image to look sharper.

Tip

If your software has a "sharpen edges" option, use this on portraits of people. This way you can sharpen the edges without making the skin look grainy. If you have an extremely blurry photo, you might want to try bringing only a specific portion into focus. For example, on a picture of a person, work on sharpening their eyes. This way you still get an artistic, usable photo.

Warning

Avoid over-sharpening. Sometimes a photo is too blurry to be salvaged, and no amount of sharpening will help. Over-sharpening just makes the photo look grainy and cheap.