Create a bokeh effect in photoshop

In this tutorial you will learn how to create a blurred background, as well as how to apply the bokeh effect to your photos using standard tools, filters, including color correction.

Final result



Source materials:

Open the original image in Photoshop. I used the following dimensions for the original image.

Duplicate the background layer twice. Turn off the visibility of the second duplicate layer. Go to the first duplicate layer. Activate mode Quick masks (Quick mask) and select Radial gradient (Radial Gradient), the color of the gradient is black and white, put a check in the Dither and Transparency boxes.

Exit Quick Mask mode.

Next, apply the filter Blur (Blur), for this we go Filter – Blur – Blur at shallow depth of field (Filter – Blur – Lens Blur).

Remove the active selection and apply a filter. Gaussian blur (Gaussian Blur), blur radius 2px. Go to the layer with the second duplicate, turn on the visibility of this layer. Apply the filter “Smart” sharpness, apply the following settings:

  • Effect (Amount): 100%
  • Radius (Radius): 0.5 px
  • Angle (Angle): 0
  • Tick ​​in the box More precisely (With More Accurate)
  • Delete (Remove): Gaussian blur (Gaussian Blur)

Separate the flowers from the background using the filter Pull out (Extract Filter).

Reduce the opacity of the current layer to 42%. Load a selection for a layer with selected colors.

Further we use:

  • Selection – Modification – Compress (Select> Modify> Contract): 2px
  • Selection – Modification – Feather (Select> Modify> Feather), feathering radius: 8 px
  • Add a layer mask.

Duplicate the current layer, turn off the visibility of the previous layer. Remove the layer mask and then re-add the layer mask. Smooth the edges of the colors, to do this, go to the layer layer mask and then using a soft brush with low opacity, process the edges of the colors as shown in the screenshot below.

Move the bokeh texture to our working paper.

Duplicate the bokeh texture layer. To the first layer with the Bokeh texture, add a layer mask and on the layer mask, apply a radial gradient, gradient color: black and white. Change the blending mode for the first layer with the bokeh texture to Overlap (Overlay), the opacity of the layer is 58%.

Change the blend mode for the second layer with the Bokeh texture to Lightening (Screen), the opacity of the layer is 25%.

Once again duplicate the layer with the Bokeh texture, place the duplicate layer below the layers with the selected colors. Change the blending mode for this Bokeh texture layer to Lightening (Screen), the opacity of the layer is 45%.

Merge all layers together.

Next, go Image – Correction – Hue / Saturation (Image> Adjustments> Hue / Saturation), apply a color tone value of +8.

Next, apply the filter Distortion (Distort), for this we go Filter – Distortion – Distortion Correction (Filter – Distort – Lens Correction).

Apply the following values.

Final result



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