I was wondering how the effect in the included images is achieved, I have noticed it is a popular technique used in website banners and 'hero' images.

I am interested in specifically what adjustments might be helpful to achieve this. ie the muted colors, suppressed highlights and faded blacks. Another characteristic of this image (other than the 'bokeh' lens effect) that interests me is the 'hazy', 'soft light' feel to it. It appears the light is contouring and pouring over the edges of the subject(s) of the photograph.

Any thoughts and tips would be a huge help, regarding what the general workflow might be to achieve this.

Many Thanks for your time and help.

Reference Image

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1 Answer 1


You have already answered yourself:

  • suppressed highlights = Play with the curves. Lower the white point to the desired level.

  • faded blacks = Play with the curves. Rise the black point.

  • the muted colors = Desaturate your image.

The "bokeh" is given by the shoot itself, it is a combination of distances and a big aperture on the lens of the camera. You could fake it on some degree using different blur filters, for example, the tilt filter, or a lens filter on Photoshop.

  • Thank you for answering, yes i realize the answer is in the question itself, I am still learning and I was not familiar with the process, such as the curve adjustments, of which I have found a bunch of tutorials on you tube and such, which explain the process in more depth, thank you again for the help and sorry for the late response.
    – Samwyzz
    Apr 6, 2018 at 17:35

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