This way you can make a blurry picture sharp

You think you’ve shot a great series of photos, but when you look at them on the Mac, half of them seem to be out of focus. And whether it was due to motion blur, wrong camera settings, a smeared lens or a camera moved; the damage seems irreversible. Still, the photos may still be saved. Thanks to a few editing options of the Photos Mac app, you can sharpen a blurry picture.

This workshop comes from iCreate 99.


1. Import photo

 Make blurred photo sharp

Open Photos. If the photo is not yet in the library, import it via Cmd + Shift + i. Select the photo and click ‘View for import’. Double-click the chosen photo and choose “Edit.”

2. Zoom in on the picture

 Take a sharp photo

Use the slider at the top left to zoom, or use Cmd + plus (with Cmd + min you zoom out). Zoom in on the face so you can clearly visualize the details of the photo.

3. Make blurred photo sharp

 Make blurred photo sharp

In the panel to the right you will find the ‘Sharper’ function. Place the mouse cursor on this function and click on ‘Auto’. You now let Photos automatically focus the blurry picture.

4. See the difference

 Make a blurry photo sharp

Check the blue button on and off to see the difference. The ‘Auto’ button makes a very subtle change, so you probably want to sharpen the picture even further.

5. Sharpen photo

 Make blurred photo sharp

Click on the triangle for ‘Sharper’; you now get more options. The main controller is Randen. This determines the contrast between pixels, which makes the picture look sharper.

6. Too grainy

 Sharpness of the blur

Drag the “Rims” control all the way to the right. This makes your photo look a lot sharper, although it can also make the photo grainy. We refine this via the two other controllers

7. Intensity of the edges

 Making a blurred picture

With the control ‘Intensity’ you determine the intensity of the sharpened edges. Drag the control to the left if the picture has become grainy, or to the right if it can use even more sharpness.

8. Decrease

 Make a blurry photo sharp

With ‘Decrease’ you control the strength of the ‘Intensity’ and ‘Edges’ controls. Sounds contradictory, but the higher you put the value of ‘Decrease’, the more you strengthen the sharpening effect.

9. Definition and details

 Make blurred photo sharp

Finally, open the ‘Definition’ option. The ‘Quantity’ regulator increases the contrast of the midtones in your images, bringing the details even more to life.