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Selective Focus in Photoshop

If you have been wondering how to apply selective focus in Photoshop, this is your one-stop guide. Let us help you how to master this tool using the Iris Blur in Photoshop. The reason for using this blur is because it creates a blur that ripples from the center to outward directions. Read along to understand how to use it. 

How to Apply Selective Focus in Photoshop

Step 1

The very first step is to open the image. This can be done by heading into File and then selecting Open. Alternatively, you can press Ctrl+O on Windows or Command+O on Mac to do this. Then, simply navigate to the folder that has the image and select it. After selection, click on Open. Now that you have opened the image, you should also select the Blur that you are going to use. In this guide, you are going to learn the application of selective focus in Photoshop using Iris Blur. For this purpose, first head into Filter and open Blur Gallery. You will see many options but you have to select Iris Blur.

Step 2

We are now going to use Iris Blur to focus an area in the image while blurring the rest of it. At this stage, the real work starts so pay attention. When you open Iris Blur from Blur Gallery, a ring with some dots will appear on the image. If you have never worked with Blur filters, then you must know that this ring and the dots are used to define the area of the focus and the amount of focus to be applied. You can refer to the ring as a Blur preview ring because it lets you preview the area that will be in focus after it is applied. At the center of the ring, there is a dot or a pin and the image is sharp at the center. It means that no blur is applied at the center. Whereas, you will see that the image gets blurred further away from the center. This is how the selective focus in Photoshop works. If you want to reposition the blur ring, than you can simply click on the center and drag it wherever you want.

Step 3 - Selective Focus in Photoshop

At this point, you have opened the image and placed the Iris Blur on it. Now, you need to learn how to change the size of the blurred area so that you can adjust it according to your preference. It is relatively very easy to adjust that, however, before you do that, it is important to understand how the ring functions. There are two rings of the Iris Blur; an inner small ring and an outer ring. In simple terms, the outer ring marks the boundary of the blur, and everything that is outside this ring gets fully blurred. Now, coming back to the main process, there are four dots along this outer ring. We are basically going to use these dots to adjust the blur area. When you hover the cursor over any of these dots, it will change to a curved arrow. When this happens, you can drag it to elongate the shape of the blur. An important point to remember at this point is that this will also change the shape of the blur ring. However, if you want to keep the original shape, you can drag from the line rather than the points.
How to apply selective focus in Photoshop

Step 4

This is an integral step in using a selective focus in Photoshop. In this step, we are going to define the amount of blur inside the blur ring. You may also opt to keep it fully sharp but in certain cases applying a little blur can make the transition look seamless.  Apart from the dots on the outer ring, there are also four larger dots inside of it. These dots mark the blur transition area and the range of blur between these large dots and small dots on the outer ring goes from 0 to 100%. As we said, you can use these dots to make the transition seamless by moving these dots near the center. On the other hand, moving them outwards will make the transition sharper.

Step 5

In the last step of selective focus in Photoshop, we are going to see how the blur amount can be adjusted. The best and easy way to adjust the blur amount is by using the Blur Slider. It can be found in the Tools Panel on the right side. Alternatively, you can also use the Blur Dial which is present in the center of the blur ring. If you move it clockwise, the blur will increase. On the other hand, moving it counter-clockwise will decrease the blur.

Conclusion - Selective Focus in Photoshop

In summary, mastering the Iris Blur and understanding how to adjust its size and blur amount are the only things that you need to know for applying selective focus in Photoshop. Using selective focus can immensely enhance the overall outlook of your image, so start practicing.

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