It is always preferable to get your images perfect in-camera, but what happens when things don’t go quite to plan? What if there is a little more camera blur than you thought or the images are a little softer than you would like? Is it possible to recover sharp focus in images?
The short answer is yes.
It’s been possible in Photoshop, but it is labour intensive and confusing, and sadly doesn’t always get the best results. I usually put those images on the discard pile and moved on.
Introducing Topaz Sharpen AI
If you haven’t already seen and heard about Topaz Sharpen AI, then you’re in for a treat. It is been around for a little while now and I finally got to try it out recently.
I found that moderation was the key to Sharpen AI. With a little playing and testing I have found that sharpening images that have a slight camera blur, motion blur or even when they’re a bit soft … can really be brought back into focus using Sharpen AI. You can try the Auto settings, but I also found I got great results playing with the settings myself.
When it comes to portraits, the eyes really do have to be in focus. Blurry eyes can make for a less-than-perfect image. So if you have a slight camera blur or if the focus is just a tiny bit off, then Sharpen AI may be of help.
Before Sharpen AI, I found that if the eyes were not tack sharp in an image I moved on, even if I really liked everything else in that image. While it is not an excuse to make sure your images aren’t well focused, if for some reason you really like an image and it’s not sharp, then it’s possible to recover some detail.
Beware of over-sharpening
While Sharpen AI is great for recovering and sharpening these details, be careful not to over-sharpen, especially on the face. Use in combination with Denoise AI to soften the noise. Try using the mask feature in Sharpen AI to apply the sharpening as required.
Granted it is subtle, but this is what I am referring too. When enlarged, or printed bigger, this subtle tweak really can make all the difference.