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A great way to add focus to your image is to reduce the depth of field so that the subject or a portion of the subject is in focus, and the rest of the photo becomes gradually more out of focus. You can do this by adjusting the aperture on your camera. But sometimes, you forget or don't have time to make that adjustment. In this video, I'll show you how to achieve this effect inside of Photoshop Elements 10. So, I'm going to begin this video in the Elements 10 Organizer. And I'm going to scroll down in my Media Browser and we'll select an image that contains a subject that I want to remain in focus but represent the depth of field effect within the photo. So, I'm going to use this image called _MG_1348.jpg.
And with that image selected, I'm going to come up here to my Fix tab, click on the arrow to the right and choose Guided Photo Edit. And that'll open this image in the Photoshop Elements Editor. Now, over here in the Guided Category under the Edit tab, you're going to notice that I have a Lens Effects category. And there's really only one option in here called Depth of Field. So, I'm going to click on that option to activate it. And you'll see that I have two methods that I can use. I can use the Simple method or I can use the Custom method. So, I'm going to show you both of these in this video. Let's start with the Simple method.
I'll click on this option and once again, it walks me through the process. So, the first thing I'm going to do is add the blur. So I'll click on the Add Blur button and you can see that it adds a overall blur to this image. Now, what I'm going to do is, under step 2, I define the area in focus. So, what you do is click on the Gradient tool right here and you click where you want the image to be in focus and drag to where you want the image to go out of focus. So, what I'm going to do is I'm going click on this foreground here and I'm just going to Click and Drag, using my mouse, to the area that I want to become out of focus. And when I let go, you'll notice that this foreground is totally in focus, and it gradually goes out of focus to where I dragged my cursor. Now, the third step, you can actually increase the intensity of that blur. So, if I drag to the right, you'll notice that blur get more intense the further I drag that slider to the right.
Now, what I'll do here is I'll click the Done button, and let's go ahead and close this image and save it. So, we'll call this Guided Edit. And after the 1, I'm going to put _simple cause that's the simple method that we used. I'm going to save it the version set with the original, including the Organizer, and click the Save button. Now, back in the Organizer, this is grouped with a version set. So, there's my edited version using the Simple method. What I'm going to do is click on this original again, come back up here to the Fix tab and choose Guided Photo Edit one more time. I'm going to click on Depth of Field, now this time, we're going to use the Custom method.
So, I'm going to click on the Custom button and this gets a little more detailed because I can literally select the object that I want to remain in focus. So, what I'm going to do here is click on this Quick Selection tool and I'm going to basically paint here. Now, if your brush is too small, you can press the Right Bracket key on your keyboard to make your brush bigger, or the Left Bracket key on your keyboard to make your brush smaller. And what I'm going to do is paint. I'm just going to Click and Drag with my mouse and paint over this boat, and the Quick Selection tool is pretty smart and it detects contrast edges. And I'm just going to paint over this boat.
Now, if you painted too far like I did, don't worry, because what we can do is hold down the Option key on Mac or the Alt key on Windows, and paint over the area that we went into to remove it from the selection. So, we could see that right now I have only the boat selected. Step 2, we add the blur. So, I'm going to click the Add Blur button and we'll notice that everything has been blurred except for the boat. What we can do now is increase the blur in step 3, and we can see that now, we're also achieving that same result. Now, this is a slightly unrealistic Depth of Field effect because even the boat in the foreground here, is in focus but the sand is not. So, it gets a little unrealistic in this particular subject. So, here's what I would encourage you to do.
I'm going to click the Reset button down here, start back with number one, use a Quick Selection tool. And I'm going to select the boat like I did before. But this time, I'm going to to drag also into the sand. And you can see it got the houses up here, too. So, I'm going to to hold down the Option key on Mac, Alt key on Windows, and I'm just going to try to remove that portion, and maybe a little bit of the sand, you know, up to here. So now, I'm actually selecting the boat and the sand here with it.
And you can play around with this and decide, you know, how much of this you want to remove, we could refine this again, I'm just holding down the Option key, and that looks pretty good. I'm going to click Add Blur. Then I'll increase the intensity of the blur. And now, I can see we're getting a little bit more of a realistic depth of field, because now, we have both the sand in the foreground and the boat in focus, but then it gradually kind of fades out to more out of focus.
So, you can decide how much blur you want to apply, and once you're happy with it, we can click Done. And now, we have our second method that we used for the depth of the field. I'm going to go ahead and close this image. We'll save it, and this one is the custom so I'll put _custom under the name. Once again, saving it in the version set, including it in the Organizer, and I'm going to click the Save button. And now, back in the Organizer, we have a third option here. So once again, we have the original, then we have this Simple Depth of Field, and then the Custom Depth of Field option.
So, you can see if you want to achieve the Depth of Field effect, but you forgot or didn't have time to do it on your camera, Photoshop Elements will come to the rescue and allow you to achieve this effect using the Guided photo Edit.
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