I have looking through DeviantArt and the background of one of the web interfaces caught my eye. I tried to replicate it but couldn't get anywhere near the perfect effect.


I'm thinking it also has something to do with the actual photograph.

Any help will be appreciated.


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    Could you maybe post a small example of what you've managed so far, and describe how you feel it's not good enough? Also, have you considered the possibility that the background might be an actual out-of-focus photo? – Ilmari Karonen Nov 3 '12 at 15:18

Photoshop - Lens blur worked for me. I took a clear landscape and just tweaked until I got a blur just like in the photo.

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  • Any way you can post the settings you used for the lens blur? I've been playing around with it and I'm getting close, just not perfect. Before, I was just using the Gaussian blur. – CelHD Nov 2 '12 at 18:23

Consider that the foreground item (the hand) is masked and floating on a blurred image of the landscape.

If you had an similar image without the blur, you could make a duplicate layer and add a layer mask such that only the hand is visible. The bottom layer, blur the heck out of it.

You might have to enlarge the top layer slightly to cover for any "bleed-over" from the hand in the bottom blurred area.

It is also possible in some photoshop filters to use a mask or an alpha channel during the filtering process.

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  • Just blurring the background isn't making it look good. I've played around with the Lens blur which seems closer to what I was looking for. Thanks for the help. – CelHD Nov 2 '12 at 18:24
  • No problem. Note that I did not specify a method of blurring, just a method of isolating an item in the foreground. Perhaps I misunderstood your question. – horatio Nov 2 '12 at 18:25

There's really nothing special there. A plain ol' gaussian blur could give you the same affect. Sometimes adding a little grain to the image will help to obscur the fake quality of the focus.

What exactly do you feel like you're not getting in comparison?

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It looks like nothing more than a gaussian blur to me. Granted, the hand and phone have been masked and relocated to another layer (unaffected by the blur), so it can remain in focus.

Cutting out (masking) your subject and blurring out the background is one of the most common (and simplest) techniques in mixed creative design.

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