How to: fix an out of focus image!

Being poor, I’ve shot on manual lenses for the past two years

But sometimes your manual focus skills aren’t quit nailing it every shot.

Ah the Samyang 85 1.4. A $239 piece of glass, plastic, and metal. Sharp enough for me when stopped down to 2.8 and real crispy at f/4. 10/10 would recommend if you want to save some money and still shoot bangers. (not sponsored)

Now the camera helps a ton with manual focusing every shot accurately too. The entire Sony a series has this amazing feature which allows you to digitally zoom 12.4x to dial in perfect focus for every shot. I currently shoot with the Sony a7Riii and have used the a7rii and the a5100 as well, all make it extremely easy to manual focus. Another rad feature is you can also turn on a peaking display which highlights sharp contrast areas of the image to make it easier to track moving subjects. (also not sponsored) Fanboy

Sometimes after pre-focusing for a specific move I would adjust my position forwards or backwards a bit and forget to re adjust, resulting in shots that are inches to within a foot out of focus which was frustrating! Watch the video or read through the guide below to learn how to fix missed focus.


Step 1: bringing out detail in the subject

2x Duplicate background layer (⌘ j)

rename layers “focus” and “blur” (or whatever works for you)

select “focus” layer

change blending mode to “overlay”

in menu:

filter > other > High pass filter

raise value until it is as sharp as you want

select subject

create layer mask (it will mask everything out other than your subject making it appear more in focus

Step 2: blurring the actual in focus area

Select “blur” layer

with lasso tool (⌘L) set feather to 3 or less or to your preference

lasso around the area that was originally in focus

create a layer mask (masking out the rest of the image)

Step 3: retouch

*Not in video*

With the brush tool (⌘b) use the “x” key to toggle your brush color between black and white

remember black conceals and white reveals

with a high feather (100%) and 20-50% flow brush the “blur” layers layer mask and use the brush to smooth transitions

Select “focus” layers layer mask and touch that up as well

Jeff SkallaComment