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Photoshop has a number of different ways to add creative blurs, or selective focus, to your image. Now, in order to apply these in a more flexible and nondestructive way, I'm going to choose the Filter menu, and then Convert For Smart Filters. Now that I've converted this layer into a smart object, when I add a filter, it's going to automatically add it as a smart filter. So I'll choose Filter> Blur gallery and let's start with the Tilt Shift Blur. As you can see, a pin has been placed in the center of my image.
If I want to reposition the tilt shift blur, all I need to do is click and drag. If I want to increase the amount of blur, I can do that using the on-screen controls, by clicking and dragging around. Or, I can change the amount of blur using the panel over here on the right. Between the pin and the solid white line, you'll notice that there's no blurring occurring. If I want to change the position of the solid white line, I'll simply click on it and then drag it closer or further away.
Since the blurring starts here on the white line, and it ends on the dashed line. This is considered to be the fade range. If I want to lengthen that or shorten it, I simply click on the dashed line, and drag it further away or closer. In this case, I want it to be subtle, so we'll drag it further away, and I'll do the same thing at the top. If I want to rotate this, I have two options. I can position my cursor near the small white dot, and click and drag left or right. But sometimes it's a little hard to control this way.
Instead, I prefer to click and hold my mouse down, anywhere between the solid white line and the dash line, and then drag in order to rotate. If you're going to use this technique, you have to click and hold the mouse down, you can't simply click, because otherwise, that will add a secondary pin. Now to remove that pin, all I need to do is tap the Delete key. And then I'll reselect the original pin, by clicking on it here in the interface. You can see that we can also add distortion.
So, I can either go negative, in which case we get rounded distortion. Or we can move it in the other direction, by going towards a positive number. You can see that by default, the distortion is only happening in the foreground, or in this case, in the bottom portion of the image. If I want to, I can go ahead and add symmetric distortion, so that not only this area, but also the background area, or in this case, the area at the top of the image, is also being distorted. All right, and let's take a look at the Iris Blur filter. I'll toggle this off, and then toggle on the iris blur.
Now we have the option for a Circular Blur, we have that same pin in the center, that I can use to drag around and move the point of origin. I can also use the same dial in order to add more or less blur. And I can click on this outer circle, and drag in order to resize the iris blur. If I want the iris blur to be more of an oval or more of a rounded rectangle than a circle. I'll click and drag on this square here, and then if I wanted to rotate it, I'll position my cursor next to the small circles on the edge, and click to drag.
You'll also notice that there are four larger circles. These define the fade range. So the fade occurs between the white circles. And the outer edge of iris blur. If we want to change that, we can click on the circle and drag in, now you can see that the blur is starting much sooner. If I want to move these independently, I can hold down the Option key and then click and drag. Finally, we're going to take a look at the Field Blur. So I'll toggle off the iris blur, turn on the Field Blur, and we see by default, we get one blur point.
Now the key to the field blur, is that you're actually going to use additional blurs. So I might want to start, by moving this blur in the upper left, and then I'll add a secondary blur point by just clicking right over here. Now in this case, I might want to remove the blur, so I will use the On-screen Controls in order to dial that back to zero. Then we can add additional blurs, and dial in exactly how much blur we want, and reposition them as needed.
If I tap the M key, you can actually see the mask that's being created. And as I reposition the blurs, you can see that Photoshop is dynamically updating the mask. In addition, if I increase or decrease the amount of blur, it will dynamically update that as well. Two keyboard shortcuts here. If I tap the p key, it will toggle the Preview off ,and then if I tap the p key again, it will toggle it back on. If I press the h key, it will hide the interface, so it will hide all of those pins, until I release the h key, and then I can see them again.
Of course you can use more than one blur in combination with one another. And we have an option here for high quality. Now, I usually leave this off while I am previewing. But, you might to consider turning this on before Photoshop actually renders it, because you will get a little bit higher quality, and a little bit more accurate rendition of the blur. So to apply this, I'll click OK, and because we're working with a smart object, we have the option to change those attributes at any time, by double-clicking on the word Blur Gallery.
And we can use the mask for the smart filter if we ever wanted to paint any of this blur in or out, in any area of our image. So there you go, three non-destructive ways to add selective focus to your photograph, in order to lead your viewers eye to where you want it to go
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