How to blur the background in Photoshop and sharpen foreground detail

How to blur the background in Photoshop Elements: step 2

The ability to sharpen an image after you’ve taken it is a saving grace. Sometimes a shallow depth of field or a wrongly chosen autofocus point can mean that key details in an image are soft. Using the Unsharp Mask filter in Photoshop can bring back these lost details, and prevent an otherwise great photograph from being destined for the recycle bin.

In this Photoshop tutorial, we’ll show you how to blur the background in Photoshop and sharpen detail in your foreground interest. Here we’re going to apply two layer masks to our snowy egret image: one to sharpen the fine feather details and one to blur out the background.

How to set your in-camera sharpening

How to set your in-camera sharpening

The easy option for digital sharpening is to ramp up the in-camera sharpening setting. However, some shots need more sharpening than others, and if you apply too much then image quality can fall. Digital sharpening isn’t applied to RAW files, but if you shoot JPEGs, any in-camera sharpening is permanent.

Photoshop sharpening in 3 easy steps

This useful technique will help bring sharper detail to soft-looking wildlife shots without adding unwanted artefacts. When photographing wildlife with a wide aperture setting (such as f/5.6) you might find that the animal’s body is sharply focused while its face appears a bit soft. This is because wide aperture settings produce a shallow depth of… Continue reading

Take your sharpest photos ever

From tripods to cable releases, we give you the best advice to help you take the sharpest shots ever There’s nothing better than checking the LCD on your camera after a shot to reveal amazing composition and light. And there’s nothing worse than checking the sharpness back home on the computer and seeing a blurred… Continue reading