Bokeh Effect – Foreground Focus


Flower Photograph from stock.xchng

Bokeh Brushes from


Here are the before and after images:

Bokeh Effect

Click on the image for full size view


Step 1

Open the photograph you will be using

Duplicate the background layer

Rename this layer to Greenery

Step 2

You now have to separate the foreground from the background:

Select the Pen tool and create a path around the flower

Right click within the path and select Make Selection

Set Feather to 0 and click OK



Now use the pen tool to select and remove the background areas  between the petals

Rename this layer Flower

Step 3

Ctrl + Click on the thumbnail of the Flower layer in the layers palette to select the pixels

Select>Modify>Expand – set to 1px, click OK

Make the greenery layer active

Select a green from around the edges of the flower as the foreground colour – I used #2F5316

Edit>Fill>Foreground Color

Color Fill

Ctrl + D to deselect

Filter>Blur>Gaussian Blur – set to 25, click OK

Blurred Background

Step 4

Create a new layer above the greenery layer

Rename this layer Bokeh

Select the brush tool and SS Bokeh brushes

Set the foreground colour to one of the lightest greens from your background I used #629046

Select a round, scatter Bokeh brush and reduce the size as necessary

Click once on the canvas to place the circles on the canvas

Select a different scatter brush and click once

Continue until you have as many circles as required

Bokeh Brush

Filter>Blur>Gaussian Blur – set to 8, click OK

Step 5

Double click on the Bokeh layer in the layers palette to bring up the blending options and apply the following Inner Glow settings:

Inner Glow Settings

Now reduce the layer opacity to around 45% or whatever looks good to you.

Bokeh Effect

The finished project. Click on the image for full size view

There are many and varied ways of using the Bokeh effect. Below is an example of creating your own Bokeh background – this was created by following the video tutorial at I changed the gradient overlay colours used in the tutorial.

Bokeh Background

Click on the image for full size view

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