Add bokeh effect in photoshop

In this tutorial, I will show you how to create a simple “bokeh” effect in Photoshop. As an example, we will use the image of the night city, and then adjust and apply textures, there will be two of them all, it’s the rain itself and the texture of the wet window. At the end of the lesson, apply several adjustment layers to give a more realistic effect.

Step 1. Select the source image

Open the original image of the city in Photoshop File – Open (File> Open) or just use the key combination (Ctrl + O). In this tutorial, I use the image of the city, you in turn can use the view from the window with lots of lights, the street, the village. You need to understand one thing – if you are going to add a bokeh effect, you need an image in which there are many lights and night / evening time of the day. That is why I chose this image:

You can also notice that this city has a sufficient amount of lights and dark time of the day.

Step 2. Create a bokeh effect

Convert the image from the city to “Smart object“(Smart Object). To do this, right-click on the image icon and select “Convert to smart object” (Create smart object). Then go to Filter – Blur – Gaussian Blur (Filter> Blur> Gaussian blur). The “Gaussian Blur” filter will help us prepare the groundwork for the future of rain, so don’t be afraid to experiment with blurring. I set the blur radius to 31.9 pixels.

And here is the result:

Step 3. Color correction

Navigate Layer – New Adjustment Layer – “Hue / Saturation“(Layer> New Adjustment Layer> Hue / Saturation) and select the tab Blue (Blues). With the help of a correction layer “Hue / Saturation” (Hua / Saturation) we will add more light so that we can further use the texture of the rain, and reduce the intensity of the blue sky by moving the slider Saturation (Saturation) to -67.


Step 4. Color correction

Thanks to the corrective layer “Hue / Saturation” we reduced the saturation of the entire city, which is completely unnecessary, because the main goal was to reduce the saturation of the sky. To correct the defect, go to the mask layer of the adjustment layer “Hue / Saturation” (Hua / Saturation) and use the tool “Brush” (Brush Tool), soft brush, black color (# 000000). The red color below shows where you should remove the effect of the adjustment layer.

Here is the result:

Step 5. Light of Lights

In this step, we will slightly draw the light of lights in the city. Create a new layer, name it “Lights”, and use a soft round brush to paint the lights. I used the following colors:

  • Navy blue
  • Yellow
  • Green
  • Red

Change the blending mode for the “Lights” layer to “Brightening the Basics” (Color Dodge), the opacity of the layer is 100%.

Step 6. Adjust the primary color

A little twist the overall color of our city. Add adjustment layer “Curves” (Curves) and customize “Blue” (Blue) and “Red” (Red) channels as shown in the screenshot below:

And also on the common channel “RGB” reduce the brightness a bit.


Step 7. Add a rain texture

Open the first rain texture using the tool. “Moving” (Move Tool) transfer to our main document. The layer with the rain texture should be located above the rest, and also do not forget to use free transform (Ctrl + T). To maintain proportions, hold down the “Shift” key.

Next, change the blending mode to “Screen” (Screen) and turn it down “Opacity” (Opacity) up to 41%.

Step 8. Adjusting the contrast of the rain

Add adjustment layer “Levels” (Levels) and set it up as a clipping mask by clicking on the icon that is marked in red in the screenshot below. Move the black slider to the right to increase the contrast of the texture with the rain.


Step 9. Rainy effect

Now we need to add the last source image “Wet window texture”. Put it on our main document.

Change the blending mode to “Screen” (Screen), layer opacity is 100%.

Step 10. Final color adjustments

Finally add a correction layer. “Color Balance” (Color / Balance) and adjust the value: “Middle Tones” (Midtones), here we will add some yellow and red hues. Simply put, we add warm colors that are reflected in the window from the city.

Red (Red): +29

Green (Green): -25

Blue (Blue): -34

Here is our result:

Step 11. Final

Finally, I used a correction layer. ”Searchcolors”(Color Lookup),“ Teel Orange Plus Contrast. ”Do not hesitate to experiment with other presets.

Here is our final result:

In the screenshot below, you can see the project structure in the layers panel:

Thank you for your attention, I hope you enjoyed the lesson!

Like this post? Please share to your friends: