In this post I will explain how you can add selective focus or blur to your photos easily using Photoshop. It can come in handy if you want to direct focus to certain place or want to hide something, I use it for both purposes, focusing on my personal photos and directing focus/distorting any information I don’t want to be visible in my posts. Now let’s start.
I am using Photoshop Elements 11 in this tutorial.
Duplicate the layer
Duplicate your current layer by right clicking on Layer>Duplicate Layer or press Ctrl+Alt+J.
Now, select the duplicate layer and click on Filter>Blur>Gaussian Blur.
If you want, you can choose any other type of blur too. You can also change other aspects to change the intensity, radius , etc. of the blur according to your liking. I set the radius to 4.8.
Now click OK.
Remove selective blur
Now, your entire photo is blurred. To remove selective blur, create a Layer mask by pressing the icon with a circle in the center.
Now in the tools Palette, make sure your foreground color is set to black and select the Paint Brush. You can also use other tools nut I find paint brush easier to use when working with my photos.
Now, select the type of brush you want like soft, hard, etc. and paint over the area(s) you want to remove blur from. Be careful not to paint on the background or some other area you want blurred. I have used a round soft brush in this photo and as you can see, the effect is subtle but noticeable at the same time. If you accidentally paint too much or over something you not wanted to, simply undo (ctrl+z) or select your foreground color to white and paint the details back in.
This is what the initial (upper one) and the final images (bottom one) looks like.
Have some doubts to clear or some suggestion? Shoot them up in the comments section below! :D