How to Fix Motion Blur in Photoshop

Did you know that Photoshop has a tool for repairing motion blur? Here is a great technique that can salvage a blurry photo and turn it into a sharp image.

Two things primarily cause motion blur. The most likely culprit is camera shake. This is especially true for those new to photography. If you don’t provide a steady base for your camera, you will get motion blur in your image. Your subject moving is the second reason for this problem. Of course, the best way to handle this is to prevent these issues from happening and get it right in camera. However, we’ve all captured great moments, only to find later that they weren’t usable because of this issue.

In this tutorial, Unmesh Dinda of PiXimperfect offers a solution that can remove motion blur from a photo. Dinda’s method includes zooming in on an image to measure the angle and the distance of the motion blur. Both of these can be done quickly using the ruler tool. He then uses these amounts to repair the blur using Photoshop’s smart sharpen option. I was surprised in watching Dinda’s tutorial by how well this method worked.

I will add that if you struggle with this issue often, you should take some time to research how to hold your camera steady. You should note that your minimum shutter speed needs to be faster than what you currently are using, especially for longer lenses. Here is an excellent video for learning to get your photos in focus consistently. If the damage is done and you need to learn how to repair a blurry image, check out the video above.

Levi Keplar's picture

Levi Keplar is a wedding and portrait photographer and educator. He currently owns and operates his studio, Katie & Levi Photography, with his wife and is based in the Wichita, Kansas area. He has a passion for both the technical and the business sides of photography and helping others to grow in those areas as well.

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Can Photoshop fix this motion blur? I photographed the final Space Shuttle landing. Unfortunately, I had Kodak BW400CN loaded in my camera and I pushed it two stops to 1600.

Very helpful. I agree that AI can not on its own determine the specifics of the original shake yet, so this manual approach to motion blur makes sense. I'd love to see what is done to correct for OOF.