Embarrassingly Easy Photoshop Tip from Somebody with an Embarrassingly Limited Knowledge of Photoshop

Sooooo.

I am really not so good at Photoshop.  I’ve really only had the last couple of days to get into it, and judging by most of the blog post here, a good amount of you in this class are already at least moderately good at it (or at least know how to work the damn thing).  So please excuse my “tip,” if you could call it that.  It is just something that I found to be pretty useful for a couple of my pictures.

So, here is basically what I am going for.

http://tv.adobe.com/watch/learn-photoshop-cs5/focusing-the-eyewith-lens-blur/

This video tells you how to use the “Lens Blur” filter from the drop down menu in order to create a blur effect on the entire picture, except for a designated part of the image that you set aside to begin with.  The problem with this video, at least for somebody like me who has no real working knowledge of Photoshop, is that the dude in the video did a terrible job explaining how to set aside said designated part of the image.  When I was trying to get this to work, I couldn’t figure out step 1 because he really only briefly skimmed over it in about 2 seconds, so the rest didn’t work either.  Good job, buddy.

So, I find a way to work around it (in an extremely roundabout manner).  Basically, what I did for a few of my images was to use the Blur Tool from the left tools menu to blur out the majority of the image to my desired level of blurriness.  Then, I went back and used the History Blush Tool, also from the side tools menu, to unblur the specific part of the image that I wanted to remain in focus.  You could also use the History Brush to do varying levels of unblurriness (not sure if that’s actually a word…) to sort of chisel out the picture that you want.  Like I said, quite roundabout, but all in all it only took me a few minutes to do what I wanted.

For a visual example, this

Image

turned into this:

Image

For that image, I really wanted the “Closed” sign to pop out, so I blurred the entire picture using the Blur Tool, the unblurred the sign using the History Brush, and further smoothed out the edges using the History Brush with a lower opacity.  I think it turned out pretty nice!

BTW, for any of you guys who actually know what they’re doing, feel free to let me know how to do this the easy way.  I wouldn’t be mad.

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