When the Depth of Field effect is useful:
Your photography subject looks great, but the background is a little distracting.
Or you just want to make your subject pop.
Or you adore the low aperture look, where the foreground and the background are blurry, but your subject is focused just right—except your camera isn’t capable of manually changing aperture, manually focusing, you don’t know how to change either, or you just didn’t have time to do it before you took the shot.
Never fear, the Depth of Field effect is here, which will allow you to take your photo from this, to this.
For starters you have Photoshop Elements 12 opened up, along with the photo you would like to process. Go to Guided mode and on the right side panel choose Depth of Field
Once you’re there, you have the option for simple or custom. If you choose the simple option, it will blur the entire photo and you will add focus back in, in a radial form from the line you draw. Easy peasy. But if you want a little more say in what stays in focus and what gets blurred, you choose custom. That’s what we’ll be doing.
Step 1: Select Quick Selection Tool button.
Step 2: Click on Tool Options on the bottom of the screen to adjust your tool.
Step 3: Select the area you would like to keep in focus by dragging the selection tool around the photo.
Tip: Make sure the little (+) appears in the center of the tool to make sure you are adding the selection. If the (-) appears in the center of the tool, that means you are subtracting from the selection. This selection mode is adjusted by choosing one of the three options found in the Tool Options section at the bottom. You can also adjust the size of the tool with the Tool Options slider bar, or the [ ] keys.
Step 4: When you accidentally select something that you want blurred, go to tool options and click on Subtract. Then subtract the area you mistakenly included until it is all removed from your selected portion.
Step 5: Click Blur button.
Step 6: Adjust the amount of blur with the slider below until you are satisfied.
Step 7: Click Done
Voila! You have a faux low aperture shot!
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I’m a technological enthusiast with a completely unrelated degree in English Literature. I’ve also been known to dabble in photography and DIY furniture refinishing, with occasional stints of fitness sprinkled among all of the above.