This week we are going to take a photo and blur the background. We can also create a soft overall focus with the same technique in a just few easy steps. Click on any image to enlarge.
- Open your image and press Command-J (PC: Ctrl-J) to duplicate the Background layer. Click on the Filter Menu and choose Blur>Gaussian Blur. Set the pixel radius setting to how much blur you would like. We are going to paint back in the areas that you want less blurred. So if you want the background really blurred out a lot then go for a higher radius. This may be something that you'd want to experiment with depending on your image and the effect you want to gain.
- Click OK after you have set your radius.
- Your photo will now look blurry all over. You can also drop the opacity of your blurred layer down to around 50% or 60% if you want to reveal more from the sharp background layer below.
- Next, you will create a Layer Mask on your blur layer. Click on the Layer Mask icon at the bottom of the Layers Palette. Then choose a soft brush and begin painting. Make sure that your foreground color is Black to reveal the sharpness. If you'd like to go back and erase what you have done (making parts of the image more blurred again) simply change your foreground color to White and paint over.
- Play around with all of these settings for different effects and different levels of blur. It can be a lot of fun!