Blog 6: DIY Photoshop: Using the Blur Feature


So this may seem like a really trivial task, but I am a beginner at photoshop, so to figure out anything on my own without throwing my computer out the window was pretty damn cool.

This tutorial is about having a main focal point, and blurring the background.

For starters choose an image. In this case I chose a photo I recently took of the locks on the Schenley Bridge.

Step 1: Use the quick selection tool to select only the object you want to remain IN focus. You can hold down option and click or hold down shift and click on a mac to add or take away space from the object selected.

Step 2: then control+click and scroll down to invert, which inverts the object selected with the background.
Step 3: control+click again and scroll down to copy via layer to put your selection on another layer.

NTS: It is very important to make sure that you are working on the correct layer. I personally find it the easiest to open and close the little eye balls to make sure you’re on the right layer.
I found out the hard way that if you aren’t on the right layer you will only frustrate yourself, because as you start to adjust things nothing will happen.

Step 4: go to filter – scroll down to blur – although there are many different blur options, after fooling around with a couple, I opted for the lens blur.

At this point, with all the eyes open you should be able to see the deselected foreground shape perfectly, but the background should be blurry.
and vola! thats it.
Im sure there are all kinds of cool tricks to adding a blur gradient and feathering the edges to make it less blunt etc, but like I said I am a beginner and we’ll save all those fun little tricks for a later secession.

When you are finished with all the alterations, you can compress your image, which basically combines all the layers together.
I am a beginner and I know that this is not the greatest idea. Once you compress the layers can’t adjust the individual layers you created. Or at least I have yet to figure out a way to separate the layers once you’ve compressed them.

I have so much to learn about Photoshop! I’m so excited!

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