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Learn Photography

Photoshop Elements >

Focus Improvement

You can use the Emboss filter to improve the focus of a slightly out-of-focus photograph.

Be sure to check off as you go along.


1) Preserve your original file.

If you haven't already done so, go to Preserve Your Original File.

2) Create a Background copy layer.

If you haven't already done so, go to Create a Background Copy Layer.

Emboss Filter

3) Make sure the Background copy layer is active (highlighted).

4) Go to Filter > Stylize > Emboss.

The Emboss window appears.

• Direction refers to the direction of the light in the photograph.

You can enter a value.

Or, click, hold, and drag the black line in the circle.

• Start with Height at 2 pixels, and Amount at 100%,

5) Change the blending mode of the Background copy layer from Normal to Overlay.

Blending Mode?

At the top of the layers stack, look for the unlabeled Blending Mode box.

It's to the left of the Opacity box.


If you're new to blending modes, go to Blending Modes.

6) Experiment with other Height and Amount values.

Saving the Photograph

If you haven't already done so, go to Saving Files.