Repair your out of focus photos


The following describes how Back In Focus can be used to sharpen your photos. We will cover the following topics:

  1. Requirements
  2. Open the image to adjust
  3. Create a deblurred version
  4. Brush the refocused area
  5. Save the result


Before starting this tutorial, make sure you have the following items available:

  • Latest version of Back In Focus (1.0.5)
  • Mac OS X 10.9 or higher

Open the image to adjust

Start the application, then drag & drop your photo, or click the open button and select your photo:

Back In Focus supports most image formats. Once the photo is opened, you will see three entries in the table to the right:

  • Original: the original photo, as it was read by Back In Focus.
  • Reconstructed: the final image. At this point, this is the same as the original, but as you sharpen and deblur, it will become the version you will save.
  • Original vs reconstructed: A quick way to compare the original with your results, or the brush a bit of the original photo over the reconstructed image if needed.

In the 'Tools' section, you will see the three action modes:

  • Move: if your image is bigger than the viewer, you can move the visible section in this mode. Holding the spacebar will move the image regardless of the current mode.
  • Deblur:: in this mode, clicking in the image will switch for the deblur exploration view for the area around the point clicked. Double-clicking has the same effect regardless of the current mode.
  • Brush: this will apply the selected image over the reconstructed image where you click and drag ("brush"). You can change the brush size and opacity using the sliders.

The three percentage values are used to zoom out big images. The 'Apply all' button is equivalent to brushing all the image at full opacity.

Create a deblurred version

Move to an area to deblur and either double-click or switch to the deblur mode then click. Explore the different algorithms with the keyboard arrows or your mouse and adjust masking if needed:

The different algorithms are:

  • USM 1-5: Unsharp masking (fast), with variants for the amount of contrast.
  • USMF 1-5: Usharp masking (full). Same variants as above.
  • WF 1-2: Wiener finite impulse response. Variants assume different noise levels.
  • WI 1-2: Wiener infinite impulse response. Same variants as above.
  • RL 20-80: Richardson-Lucy deconvolution, using 20 to 80 iterations.
  • RT 20-80: Thresholding variant of the above algorithm.
  • LA 1-2: Linear algebra deconvolution. Variants change the stopping criterion.

The masking section allows you to fine-tune where the algorithm is applied. It will use different algorithms to find edges and apply the deblurring depending on the amount selected. You can use the show mask setting to see what is considered an edge needing debluring with the current settings.

Brush the refocused area

Brush the refocused image over (or use apply all), repeat with different areas as needed:

Once you have a deblurred version of the original image, select it in the table. Use the brush to apply it to the sections needing deblurring. This gives you very precise control of the sharpening, and makes it very easy to combine different algorithms: an algorithm might give much more pleasing results for hair while another one is better for eyes. Using the opacity, you can even mix deblurred versions for the same area.

Save the result

Save the result, by clicking the 'Save' button:

Back In Focus will save in the PNG format, which is a lossless format, to ensure no compression artifacts are added by the saving procedure. You can then re-import into iPhoto/Aperture/Photoshop/Lightroom as needed.