Feather Fun in Photoshop
As much as I love Photoshop, I hate the fact that it has a million features I’ve paid for, but will never learn. That’s why I was excited to discover a quick and easy trick using the Feather Tool to create a soft focus around a person or an object in an image. This is especially cool if you’re starting with a totally sharp image, but want to soften the background.
Here’s how you do it.
- Open your image in Photoshop.
- From the menu select New Layer via Copy (or Ctrl+J). In Photoshop, it is wise to never modify the original background layer so you can always get back to where you started.
- Using the Lasso, outline the subject you want to stay sharp. Don’t be fussy about the edges.
- From the Select menu, pick Feather (or Alt+Ctrl+D).
- Pick a big radius. Start with 50 pixels.
- From the menu select New Layer via Copy (or Ctrl+J).
- In the Layers palette you’ll see a new layer with the sharpened part of the image feathered out to transparent. If you got it right, continue. Otherwise, delete the layer and start over.
- In the Layers palette, click on the background layer copy.
- From the Filters menu, pick Blur, then Gaussian Blur.
- Adjust the radius until your happy.
- Click OK.
Voila! You’ve got an instant soft focus around your subject. This technique is so fast, it is easy to experiment with other filters instead of Blur to find one that works with your image.
Have fun! I did.
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