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Need help with a blurry photo

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  #1  
Old 10-22-2004, 08:19 PM
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keepemcomin keepemcomin is offline
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Need help with a blurry photo

I love this cute picture of my son on a carousel, I don't love the blur. I have been playing with Photoshop for a long time now but haven't come close to mastering de-blurring. What can I do here (details please!)?

The Picture
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  #2  
Old 10-22-2004, 09:57 PM
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vinniesworld vinniesworld is offline
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This is about all I could do, used a plugin called Focus Magic, adjusted levels on each channel and ran USM.
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File Type: jpg mallcarousel-20mo-.jpg (99.3 KB, 121 views)
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  #3  
Old 10-23-2004, 03:54 AM
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Gary Richardson Gary Richardson is offline
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Hi KeepEmComin,

Unfortunately there really is no way to re-focus a badly out of focus picture. The sharpening tools of PS and other Image Editing software depend on edge emphasis, which gives an optical illusion appearing to sharpen the outline. However, this is only good for pictures that are only a little out of focus. Your image is too blurred to ever get a truly acceptable result.

I've had a go with your image, by creating an edge mask, applying USM, then applying local sharpening to eyes and mouth. Then I selected the boys face, copied to a new layer, applied USM again, and adjusted levels.

Result is not really acceptable, but it's as good as I can do.
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File Type: jpg mallcarousel B&A.jpg (88.5 KB, 104 views)
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Old 10-23-2004, 06:30 AM
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Flora Flora is offline
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Hi everybody,


keepemcomin

what a lovely little boy you have!!!!!

What Gary said about out of focus pictures and sharpening remedies.

You can still try to emphasize details as to improve it anyway...

Here is what I did with your picture:
  • Duplicated the background Layer.
  • Run Levels on each Channel to correct the colour and contrast.
  • Used the 'Curves' method as drscribed in this Tutorial to bring out a bit more details in your little boy's face.
  • Merged Visible. (here is how to do it without losing the underlying Layers)
  • Duplicated the merged Layer, run a Radial Blur (Zoom) on it. (just for a different blurring effect) ....
  • Added a Layer Mask to the blurred Layer and, with a soft black brush I painted over your son only to uncover the unblurred 'version' from the underlying Layer.
  • Merged Visible.
  • Used USM (Amount>20%, Radius>50, Threshold>0) to further enhance the contrast.
  • Created a Shadow Mask, (Ctrl+Alt+~= Luminosity Mask > Ctrl+I = Invert = Shadow Mask), copied it on its own Layer (Ctrl+J).
  • Used USM to sharpen the shadow Layer only ...

I know it sound like a long, complicated procedure ... but it only took ten minutes ... By blurring the 'background, enhancing colour and contrast and just a light final sharpening I wanted to make your son really 'pop out' in a natural way ...


vinniesworld,

Nice job! .... a tad oversharpened ... maybe?

Gary,

I think your version is very nice!!!

Hope this helps..
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File Type: jpg F_mallcarousel-20mo-sm.jpg (99.3 KB, 133 views)
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  #5  
Old 10-24-2004, 02:55 AM
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Gary Richardson Gary Richardson is offline
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Thanks for your comments Flora. Your sharpening attempt is as good as I've seen. However, I still stick with my original comment, that you cannot truly sharpen an out of focus picture. This is not to say that no attempt should be made to improve it, but that the results may not be all you hoped for.
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Old 10-24-2004, 03:24 AM
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Flora Flora is offline
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Gary,

I agree absolutely with you!

I haven't seen a method yet that can work miracles on out of focus images ...
That's why I try to sneak around the real problem by enhancing the main subject of the picture and lightly fading the rest .... but, as you said, not even close to a crystal clear new image which may be expected as final result...
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  #7  
Old 10-24-2004, 09:19 PM
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keepemcomin keepemcomin is offline
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Thank you all very much! I appreciate your pointers, I'll go try them out now and see if I can get some decent results.

I really like the idea of blurring the background to make my son stand out more. It's sort of a "fight fire with fire" approach - the picture is blurry, so blur it more.

Thanks again!
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  #8  
Old 10-26-2004, 04:58 PM
mbrady mbrady is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Flora
Gary,

I agree absolutely with you!

I haven't seen a method yet that can work miracles on out of focus images ...
That's why I try to sneak around the real problem by enhancing the main subject of the picture and lightly fading the rest .... but, as you said, not even close to a crystal clear new image which may be expected as final result...
Too bad there's no real software like they use on the various TV cop shows. I think it was CSI recently where they had a photo and were able to zoom in on a small pill bottle in the background that was way out of focus. Then then sharpened it up until it was perfectly clear and they could read the perscription information! Impossible image manipulation comes up like that all the time on TV shows and movies.
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  #9  
Old 10-27-2004, 01:42 AM
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Gary Richardson Gary Richardson is offline
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So does being able to input any instruction no matter how complicated with 2 or 3 keystrokes, the ability to guess any password in 2 or 3 tries, and the fact that everyone can be hacked through the internet in 2 minutes, even if they're offline. I don't think TV really has too good a handle on computers.
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Old 10-27-2004, 12:43 PM
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First I must register my apologies to keepemcomin for a thread hijack, but I just had to stick my big nose in here.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary Richardson
However, I still stick with my original comment, that you cannot truly sharpen an out of focus picture.....
Something to think about.......
If we stick to a strict mathematical sense, that is the pure truth. A definition of a blurred photo would be one in which the higher frequencies have been eliminated. Automatic (as opposed to manual) sharpening relies on amplifying these high frequencies. And so, it follows that as there is nothing there, we end up amplifying just noise.
But if we think of information, the story is quite different. Looking to the left of the photo, we see written "COIN SLOT ON OTHER SIDE" (looks like "SLOY" but we know what the word is). Given that, we can manually sharpen / redraw the text to exact perfect edges.

OK, so that's an extreme example. But look around the photo we could manually sharpen / redraw the pole, the horse's head, the whole merry-go-round...

OK, again, but what about the face?
Lots of people send on old, torn, faded, incomplete photos to the Restoration threads, and it doesn't take long before somebody posts a perfect reconditioned image. An ear missing? Copy from the other side. A nose? Copy from the other guy. Torn? Copy, stamp, heal from nearby. That information wasn't there, but we know what a face looks like so it's easy (well, possible) to fix.
Here's something to think about. If keepemcomin had posted a photo with a hole, a piece torn out or a bad coffee stain on the kid's face, the experts from the Restoration threads would have whipped up a repainted 'perfect' version in a matter of minutes. But, as it was only blurred, nobody felt free to push pixels around and just stuck with the automatic (tweakable) tools.

Like mbrady said. You cannot see things that simply aren't there. So we can't count every hair on the kid's head, but there is nothing here that we couldn't restore / repaint manually to full sharpness. (the bar code? OK, I'll give you that one).
Attached Images
File Type: jpg mallcarousel-coin.jpg (38.9 KB, 22 views)
File Type: jpg mallcarousel-coin2.jpg (99.0 KB, 57 views)

Last edited by byRo; 10-27-2004 at 03:51 PM. Reason: attachments added
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