Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Creating Depth of Field using Adobe Photoshop Elements 9.0

Selecting the background and blurring it can just pop up your subject but does not give a sense of depth of field.

Following is the tutorial for bringing depth of field to your photos. It uses PSE 9 layer masks and gradient tool.

Original Photo

Final edited photo with Depth of field

Here are the steps to add DOF to any photo :

1. Open an image in PSE Editor.

 2. Press Control+J to create the copy of the background layer.

 3. Keeping the copy of the layer selected in the layers palette, go to Filter>Blur>Gaussian Blur to blur the layer such that the image looks blur to an extent of the maximum blurriness you would expect in your final photo.

4.   Now go to Layer>Layer mask>Reveal all. Also make sure that your color swatch in left tool bar has default colors selected as Black and white.

5. Now select the Gradient tool from left tool bar.

6. Stroke the gradient tool in the direction where you want to represent the depth of field. So in the image used in example depth of field goes from the point where the front cub is standing to the direction where second cub is sitting behind. So I moved the Gradient tool across the red path marked below.

7. Here is how my output looks after applying the gradient and my sharp background is blurred in proportion to the distance from the front subject.