Solution

Creating a selection

Using your preferred selection tool or method, create a selection of the object to which you'd like to draw attention, as with my image of a duck on the left.

Saving the selection as an alpha channel

Creating a selection

Saving the selection as an alpha channel

Save your selection using Select > Save Selection. In the dialog box that appears, enter a name for your selection and click OK. Photoshop will create a new alpha channel for your selection. As you can see in the example on the right above, I've called my selection lens blur.

Open the Channels palette, and select your new alpha channel. Invert the channel using Ctrl-I (Command-I on a Mac). This will create a black silhouette of the selected object against a white background, as shown at right.

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Inverting the channel

Adding a gradient to the alpha channel

In the toolbox, set your foreground color to black and select the Gradient Tool (G). Using the Foreground to transparent gradient option, click and hold the mouse button down near the bottom of the foreground object, then drag the mouse upwards while pressing Shift. Release the mouse button at a suitable position to create the gradient.

Select the photo from the layers palette. Select Filter > Blur > Lens Blur. In the dialog box that appears, which is shown below, select the alpha channel that you created from the Source dropdown.

Applying the Lens Blur filter

Change the Blur Focal Distance to 0, and increase the Radius until you're happy with the effect (I set mine to 11). If you're feeling a bit adventurous, you might also want to experiment with the other settings to see how they affect the image. When you're done, click OK to apply the filter.

The result is shown below.

Original photo

Effects of using the Lens Blur filter

Original photo

Effects of using the Lens Blur filter

Understanding Adobe Photoshop Features You Will Use

Understanding Adobe Photoshop Features You Will Use

Adobe Photoshop can be a complex tool only because you can do so much with it, however for in this video series, we're going to keep it as simple as possible. In fact, in this video you'll see an overview of the few tools and Adobe Photoshop features we will use. When you see this video, you'll see how you can do so much with so few features, but you'll learn how to use them in depth in the future videos.

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