May 18, 2010

Tutorial: Fix A Blurry Photo / Lensbaby Technique

This is a dual purpose tutorial.  It offers a sort of "fix" for a blurry photo or it can act like a selective focus (Lensbaby) effect.

How does it work?  This effect will blur the outer edges while keeping the subject in focus.  For an already blurred photo, this will simply give the illusion that the subject is sharp.

1.  Open your image and make a Duplicate layer (Image -> Duplicate or right-click on the background layer and choose Duplicate Layer).

2.  If your photo isn't blurry, skip this step.  Create an Unsharp Mask Filter (Filter -> Sharpen -> Unsharp Mask).  The settings I used were Amount 75%, Radius 5.0, and Threshold 2.  Set the layer to Normal at an Opacity of 70%.  Flatten the image.

3.  Create a Duplicate Layer again.  Create a Blur Filter (Filter -> Blur -> Gaussian Blur).  I set the radius to 6.6 pixels.

4.  Now we're going to create the focus.  Choose the Circle Marquee tool (found under the Square).  Set the Feather to 250 pixels and Style to Normal.  Choose your focus area by clicking and dragging the Marquee Tool.  Hit the Delete button twice.

5.  Decrease the Opacity of the blur layer to soften the difference.  I chose an Opacity of 84%.  Flatten your image.

Hope you found this helpful!  I use this technique often.