Tuesday, 8 February 2011

Tuesday Technique Tutorial: Cheat's Guide to Blurring your Photo Background

Every Tuesday I plan to add something to your digi-scrapping arsenal. It may be something quick and light, something heavy and brain-puffing, or just something I've picked up along the way that I find useful when creating my pages.

Today, it's a cheat's guide to blurring out the background of your portrait photos (especially handy when you don't happen to carry around your bulky 300mm telephoto lens with you).

Here we go ....

This is my in-progress layout (created with Nina Scraps' new kit "Soft and Sweet" @ oscraps.com) that I worked on this morning. I'm thinking I could turn it in now, or be a bit more professional about it and get rid of that distracting stuff from the background of the photo (aka - half of mum's head and leaves and stuff).

So, what can I do about it? A quick fix is to apply a gaussian blur to part of the image.
To do this;
  • copy your photo layer (Ctrl-J),
  • turn off the bottom photo layer (press the "eye" next to the image in the layers palette)
  • activate the new, top photo payer (just click on it)
  • select a soft-edge brush and click on your eraser tool
  • rub out the  subject you want to keep clear (in my case, it's my ugly double-chinned mug)

  • go to Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur and type in a radius of 20 pixels (or 10 if that's too obviously blurred)
  •  turn the other bottom photo layer back "on" (again, the "eye" icon)
  • Done!

Finished layout!

If you've got any tips yourself, or a way to do this better, share it! Also link me up to your online gallery if you use this tutorial for something you make - I would love to see it in action.


Anonymous said...

Just a quick note to let you know that a link to this post will be placed on CraftCrave today [08 Feb 02:00am GMT]. Thanks, Maria

Anonymous said...

That's really cool Kathy, way quicker than the way I have been currently doing things. Thanks Angie.

Mef said...

Ooh, I'll have to check out this technique. Thanks.

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