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How to Fake Depth of Field in Photoshop


On this video tutorial Aaron Nace from Phlearn demonstrates how to create artificial depth of field in Photoshop in a realistic way.

We all love a beautiful out of focus background, however we do not always able to create it in camera (either we don’t have a fast enough lens or we are shooting a wide image or we simply want to stop down to preserve image quality). Whatever the reason, there is a way to create a fake (but rather realistic) out of focus look for almost any image.

The first step is to select your subject. Nace uses the pen tool but you can use whatever selection method you feel comfortable with. As for the blur, Nace decided to use the Blur Gallery -> Tilt Shift. This type of blur can do a gradient blur which is more similar to the way a lens blurs an image.

We have covered the topic of depth of field quite a few times in the past including Depth of Field BasicsWhy Depth of Field is NOT Effected by Sensor Size – A Demonstration and Depth of Field as a Creative Tool.

You can find many more Photoshop video tutorials on LensVid’s Photoshop section (and you can find a lot more Phlearn videos on our special Phlearn subsection).

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