How to easily sharpen a blurry digital photo

Sharpness comes down to how defined the edges in the photo are. As all photographers know, edges with higher contrast appear to be more defined to our visual system. Sometimes, you may find the digital photo is blurry to some degree, which is caused by the camera sensors and lenses. This is when image sharpening comes in handy. Image sharpening is an enhancement technique to increase the sharpness of the image for drawing the viewer's focus. Although there are plenty of photo editors with image sharpening tools, it is very hard to find one that is suitable for beginners in photo editing. If you are searching for beginner-friendly photo sharpeners, please continue reading this article. In this article, I will walk you through two pieces of easy-to-use photo sharpening software to help you sharpen digital photos.

#1. Photo Effects by Vertexshare

Sharpen a digital photo with Photo Effects by Vertexshare

As the title implies, Photo Effects by Vertexshare is a piece of professional photo effect app. The app comes with powerful utilities for you to post-process the photo effect. If you want to make amazing photos effortlessly, Photo Effects is worth giving a try.

After you launch the program, you'll be greeted by a sleek and clean window. It consists of three panels. A variety of predefined effects are located in the left-side panel. After the photo is loaded into the program, you will see the small preview thumbnails of these predefined effects. Most of the window is taken up by the middle panel. This panel is a preview area where you can preview the adjustments you apply to the photo. You can zoom and pan the photo, compare the differences between the original photo and the changed photo, and discard the changes you make. A series of adjustment parameters are located in the right-side panel. You can change the exposure level by adjusting the exposure compensation, exposure compression, lightness, saturation, and contrast. Moreover, you can fine-tune the local contrast, shadows/highlights, tone mapping, and high dynamic range. You are also allowed to reduce the noise level of the photo. Other adjustable parameters include white balance, channel mixer, soft light, vignette filter, image sharpening, and vibrance.

On the whole, Photo Effects is a professional photo editor that specializes in enhancing your photo effect. It enables you to apply basic adjustments and special effects to your photo in an instant. Due to the simple layout and a set of intuitive options, it can be handled by all types of users, even the ones with less experience in such software programs.

Let’s dive into the part about how to sharpen a digital photo using Photo Effects.

How to sharpen a digital photo with Photo effects

Step 1.

  • Drag and drop your photo onto the working area. Or click on "File"->"Add Photo" to add your photo. You can also click on the "Add" button to add the photo. To remove the imported photo, click on the "Remove" button next to the "Add button".

Step 2.

  • Go to the right side panel and scroll down to the "SHARPENING" section. You will see a bunch of parameters in this section including contrast threshold, blur radius, amount, and threshold. Click on the "SHARPENING" button to activate the function of adjusting these parameters.

Contrast threshold

This parameter determines how high the contrast at the edge needs to be before the edge is sharpened. Increasing the value means the edge will have to have higher contrast before it is sharpened. Decreasing the value means the edge will have to have lower contrast before it is sharpened.

Blur radius

This parameter controls the amount of blur. Increasing the value will apply more blur. Decreasing the value will apply less blur. The less the blur to be applied is, the finer the edges to be detected are.


This parameter controls the amount of sharpening. Increasing the value will apply more contrast to the edge and make the photo look sharper.


This parameter sets the minimum change of brightness. It is used to prevent the sharpening from creating the photo noise. Keep the value at 0 unless the sharpening creates extra noise.


This parameter controls the size of the sharpening area around the edges. Increasing the value will yield a thicker sharpening area. Decreasing the value will yield a thinner sharpening area.

  • Drag each slider to adjust each parameter to fit your needs. Click on the "View" button or "Compare" button to compare what the photo had looked like before you made changes with what it looks like after you made changes. If you want to readjust the parameters, click on the "Redo" button to discard all changes.

The "SHARPENING" section of Photo Effects by Vertexshare


  • Press the "Export Photo" button to export the photo to a desired location. You can also click on "File"->"Save As" to save the photo to a destination folder.

#2. LunaPic

Sharpen a digital photo with LunaPic

Lunapic is a free online photo processing app. It comes packed with many editing tools and filters. It lets you resize, crop, and rotate the image, add text to your picture, adjust the light level, colors, saturation, and transparency of the photo, and sharpen your photo in the easiest way. No professional skills are required to utilize its functions. There is no need to sign up and log in. Follow the steps below to use LunaPic to sharpen a digital photo.

  • Head over to the homepage and hover your mouse cursor over "Adjust".
  • Select "Sharpen" in the expanded list.
  • Click on "Choose file" to upload your photo. If you want to remove the photo, go to the left editing pane, click on the "Close image" button to remove the photo and then press "Close Image".
  • You will see a slider as soon as the photo is uploaded. The slider is used to adjust the sharpness of the photo. Pulling the slider to the right will make the photo sharper.
  • Click on the "Apply" button to apply the sharpening effect to the photo and you will see what the changed photo looks like.
  • Press the "Save" button below the preview area to download the changed photo.

The sharpening effect has been applied to the photo


Image sharpening is an effect used to give the digital photo a sharper appearance. It makes the outlines of a digital photo look more distinct. With the help of two photo editors mentioned above, you can easily enhance the edges of objects in the photo, making the photo look crisp and clear.

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