I'd like to know how to create the header background in the following image (taken from here). I'm referring to the grid of images behind the search box. Clearly those are just square colored images but with some kind of filter.

I've tried to merge the colored images with a black opacity layer, but that gives a different look. I also don't think it is a blur. I would describe the look as 'softening the image in grayscale'. Please help me to recreate this in Photoshop.


  • You can post your CSS solution in an answer, but it does not make sense to have a solution as part of the question. It is acceptable to answer your own question on SE sites – JohnB Jan 12 '14 at 16:38

I believe what's being done here is an alpha gradient. I use GIMP so I can't give you the steps in Photoshop, but the process will be something similar:

  1. Set a gradient to go from a solid, opaque colour (ie. black), to a solid, semi-transparent colour (ie. black at 80% opacity).
  2. After applying the gradient to the selection or layer, set that layer's opacity until you achieve this effect.

Note: Looking at the image, the gradient may be radial (with the diameter larger than the image frame) Note: The gradient may have more than two control points (ie. 3 or even 4)

  • Nice! Spot on... thanks for pointing me into the right direction! I will update my original post with the resulting HTML overlay – promontis Jan 12 '14 at 13:12

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