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Free Photoshop Tutorial: Bokeh Effect Made Easy as 1-2-3

Bokeh Finish Product

Not every one of us can spare ample time to study or master the art of editing pictures in Adobe Photoshop professionally. So I decided to come up with a guide that will allow you to be familiar and be acquainted with the topic. Rest assured this reading material is so easy to follow and understand.

The Bokeh Effect or Blur Effect
Bokeh is a Japanese word that literally translates to “blur”. By definition it is “the way the lens renders out-of-focus points of light”. It is considered the most popular and prevalent photography subject because the blur makes pictures visually alluring and forces ones focus on a particular area. The Bokeh feature on Photoshop allows users to adjust pictures in order to attain the desired blur effect.

The Bokeh Effect Tutorial
In this tutorial you will learn how to make your pictures appear similar to images taken using a DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) camera. Simply follow the steps enumerated below and get the desired photo effect.

Step 1: Open the picture that you want to use and choose the subject.

Bokeh Step 1

As for me, I chose the encircled object as the subject.

Step 2: Select the Polygonal Lasso Tool. Other people are accustomed to using Magnetic Lasso Tool but I do not recommend it since it is very case sensitive. Make a little mistake and you will have to go back from the start again. So time-saver wise, it is better to use the Polygonal Lasso Tool since the feature is friendlier.

Bokeh Step 2

Step 3: Once you clicked the Polygonal Lasso Tool, you have to start getting the edges of your subject. Just like what I did on the image below.
Bokeh Step 3

Step 4: Once you are done, hold down CTRL+SHIFT+I simultaneously. This action will set the outside portion of your subject.

Step 5: After which, click Filter -> Blur -> choose Gaussian Blur.

Bokeh Step 5

Step 6: Then set the Radius. This will allow you to adjust your desired blurry effect on the background. In my example, I have set it to 10 Pixels so it will not appear clearly edited.

Bokeh Step 6

And after the hardwork – voila! Here is now the finished layout.

Bokeh Finish Product

Notice that you can easily identify the subject of your image because it stands out from the rest. That was easy, right? Not hard for beginners at all.

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