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Removing Camera Shake with the Photoshop CC Shake Reduction Filter

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No way to steady your camera for a shot? You could increase the ISO or shutter speed, or brace yourself against a tree or wall, and the image might look sharp, but even subtle lens movement can blur edge details. Finally, Photoshop has a reliable way to address this problem! Photoshop educator Dan Moughamian shows how the new Shake Reduction filter in Photoshop CC can help you reclaim some of those blurred pixels.

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Quick Fix with Shake Reduction

Quick Fix with Shake Reduction

Before starting the Shake Reduction process, zoom in on your raw-processed image to examine the various details (large and small). Initially I zoomed in to 50%, and then 100% to examine the boulders, moss, leaves, and other details that were supposed to be sharp (see Figure 3). It was obvious in this shot that the camera had been jarred slightly, mostly likely as a result of vibrations from the moving water hitting the legs of the tripod. It was imperceptible through the viewfinder, and most camera LCDs won't cut it, either; you have to zoom in and check the details on your laptop or desktop screen.

Figure 3 Before you open a photo into Shake Reduction, zoom in to gauge the amount of shake-induced blur.

To get started with the sharpening workflow, choose Filter > Sharpen > Shake Reduction. After a few seconds, your photo will open in the Shake Reduction window. The window is divided into sections, with a large preview and tools on the left side, and settings for defining the location and degree of shake reduction on the right. By default, Shake Reduction places a pixel sampling region called the Blur Estimation Region on the preview, and the software makes an initial blur-reduction pass (see Figure 4).

The Blur Estimation Region looks like a rectangular marquee (without the "marching ants"), with a silver pin in the middle. The pin is similar to the ones used with the Adjustment Brush and Radial Filter in Lightroom 5. In Figure 4, the region's default position was over the waterfall and its underlying boulder.

Figure 4 The Shake Reduction filter in Photoshop CC automatically applies a "first pass" correction.

For many shots with only a modest amount of blurring, the first pass by the Shake Reduction filter might achieve sufficient improvement in detail. But let's look at how to tweak the settings to get better "automatic" results.

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