How to Use the Photoshop Blur Tool

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In Photoshop, the blur tool is useful for subtly blurring an object to bring attention to another part of the image. Simulate a depth of field effect in Photoshop with help from a graphic designer in this free video on Adobe Photoshop tricks.

Part of the Video Series: Photoshop Tricks
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Video Transcript

Hi, I'm Zach Katagiri, freelance graphic designer in New York City, and today, we are talking about Photoshop. One of the more useful tools in Photoshop is the blur tool. The blur tool is very useful if you would like to subtly blur something to bring attention to another part of your photograph or if you want to simulate a depth of field effect. I'm going to open up a photo that I took in Japan that doesn't use any depth of field, and I'm going to use the blur tool to simulate that effect. So here's a photo I took with no depth of field. If I select my blur tool, I probably would want a brush size that was bigger than this so I can cover more ground. So I will change the diameter to 150, maybe even just a bit higher, and I'm going to bring the strength down below 50. The lower the strength you have, the more you can kind of fudge around without really affecting anything. It just helps to add some subtly to your actions. So I'm just going to work now on gradually blurring things out. At this point, you can probably hardly see that anything's been blurred, but it is happening. And as I go over and over the photo, things become more and more blurred. So what I'm doing is I'm progressively spending more and more time on the parts of the photo that are further away from the focal point. Yeah, really blur that stuff up. And when all is said and done, you can see that the photos on the right side are much clearer and the photos get more and more blurry the further you get. I've added both a depth of field and called attention to a specific part of the photo that I wanted to highlight.


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