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Shake Reduction in Photoshop to the rescue

Sometimes you just gotta save an image. Working in bad lighting with a moving subject that doesn’t repeat behavior on command is one of those situations.

NOTE: Shake Reduction was removed in Photoshop 23.3; it no longer works with newer architecture, according to Adobe. But if you haven’t upgraded yet, this tool can be super helpful! If you no longer have access to the tool, we recommend checking out Topaz Sharpen AI.

Hummingbird Festival

Working at the Hummingbird Festival in Sedona, AZ over the weekend I was capturing video clips for next year’s festival promotion. Held around this time each year you can get more info about the International Hummingbird Society to become a member, support and/or make plans to attend.

In addition, helping out at the International Raptor Falconry Center (IRFC) booth, I was making stills of a new falcon on display along with its handler Michelle. Back light was prevalent and adding flash was not an option. You do the best you can which can lead to some less than stellar photos.

Michele Losee Ph.D. and Saker Falcon Enedina
Michele Losee Ph.D. and Saker Falcon Enedina being photographed by Ted Grussing at the Sedona Hummingbird Festival.

Photoshop Shake Reduction

Photoshop shake reduction menu
Out of focus due to camera and subject movement I looked to save the photo with Shake Reduction.

Falcons do not spread their wings on command while looking into your lens. I managed to get one frame that I thought would be a winner. Movement of the camera to quickly catch to moment led to a slight double image. Disappointed was I.

Then I remembered there might be a way to bring the image back to acceptable sharpness for website use. Shake Reduction in Photoshop was made for situations such as this so I thought I’d try it out.


Photoshop layers palette showing shake reduction in action
Photoshop layers palette showing the save.

I brought the image into Adobe Camera Raw and processed as normal for color and density. Then I opened the image in Photoshop and copied the layer. I invoked the Filter menu > Sharpen > Shake Reduction, working the various settings until the image came back together.

When the result was returned in fixing the shake, it made lines in parts of the image that hadn’t shown shake. I added a mask only allowing the corrected parts of the layer to show. A little dodging and burning along with a curves adjustment layer and some judicious sharpening completed the work.

Final Image

Stare of the saker falcon enedina
Enedina the Saker Falcon on display at the Hummingbird Festival in Sedona, AZ.

Above is the completed image of the Saker Falcon giving me the look!

Yours In Creative Photography, Bob

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Rafael Jones

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