New Photoshop Plug-in Piccure Helps
Clear Up Blurry Photos

Have you ever returned from a trip with high hopes and eager anticipation for all the photos you took while traveling, only to discover upon uploading many of your favorite shots are blurry? You soon might be able to salvage some of those blurry photos thanks to some sophisticated algorithm magic...

Piccure is a new plug-in application for Photoshop, nabbing the title of the "first software to automatically detect and correct camera shake in images.” The plug-in utilizes an algorithm-based process to reverse the effects of slight movement affecting image quality (deconvolution). In theory, this should result in the recovery of some previously unusable blurry photos back into the "keep" category.

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I shot a few high quality jpegs captured with my trusty Nikon D7000 DSLR and a Nikon AF-S Nikkor 35mm 1:1.8G DX lens with a slight intentional shake while crouching, simulating instances when photos often suffer from slight blurred results (which is unfortunately quite normal for me, Shaky Hands McGee). I ran it first without touching any of Piccure's advanced settings:

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Results were intiially mixed. The first blurred image (taken while imagining a small earthquake) saw minor improvement, while a second shot exhibited a noticeable amount of recovered detail, but at the price of added noise upon inspection.

I wasn't quite ready to give up on Piccure after the first batch of intentionally blurred shots. I went back into my photo archives to pick out some macro photos I had taken where sharpness was only slightly off, taken in real world conditions.

Zoom in and you'll notice Piccure was able to improve image details without affecting depth of field or colors of these photos of mineral jewelry. Piccure's advanced settings are actually simple and limited, but ideal results are produced with a little experimentation, offering adjustments for Speed vs. Quality, Camera Shake Intensity, and Sharpness settings.

Piccure also won't save extremely shaky original photos, alongside: 

  • Out of focus (image looks like you didn’t wear your glasses).
  • Objects moving within the image (camera is steady, your scene wasn’t).
  • Optical aberrations (e.g. loss of details in the image corners).

If you've got a copy of Photoshop CS4 or above, you'll want to nab the free 14 day Piccure demo and see if this photo correction plug-in can save some of your blurry shots. Otherwise, you can wait for Adobe's version of the Shake Reduction filter in the next Photoshop (below).

(Images: Intelligent Imaging Solutions; Gregory Han)