How to Adjust Depth of Field in Photoshop

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Before Changes

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After Changes

This tutorial is to help you learn how to adjust the depth of field for any photo.  To do this normally you would have to know what aperture to use on a camera.  But with this tutorial you can just artificially lower the depth of field in photoshop.  Ok, once you have your picture open in photoshop:

1. Make a copy of the Background Layer, so you have two layers with the exact same photo on them (Layer>Duplicate Layer).

2. On the top layer (with the top layer selected) apply a Gaussian Blur Filter (Filter>Blur>Gaussian Blur).  Set the Radius to somewhere around 14.7 pixels.  This might vary according to your desired intensity.

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3. Then select the top layer, and add a Reveal All Layer Mask to it (Layer>Add Layer Mask>Reveal All).

4. Then select the Brush Tool (B) and select a big, soft paintbrush.

5. Then (with the layer mask selected) simply paint brush the color black anywhere on the photo where you would like something to be in focus.

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For this technique it is a good idea to sometimes change the opacity of the paint brush you are using. By changing the opacity you can blend the effect and make the low depth of field look more realistic. For this photo you can see where I lowered the opacity as I brushed toward the back of the car so the gaussian blur is only partially erased in some areas.

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One Comment

  1. Michelle says:

    This was great! Thank you.

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