Tuesday, 4 October 2016


Hello everyone! It's Jenn, jk703, and I'm here today to share a little way to make a spotlight focus. Many pictures I add a blur to the edges of the images, so as to give my main subject the focus it deserves. For my tutorial today, I've chosen a photo that really has a single focus, so that I can easily show you to to give it a little more focus by blurring the rest of the photo.

Here is my original image. A beautiful sunset at my home away from home, Lavalette, NJ. I could watch the sun set every single day and be amazed.

Now, I've made a duplicate copy of my image. I do this mainly since I screw up every so often, and it's easier to start from scratch, and try again with the same original image. This is already a copy of my original image, so this is just n case I want to start over.

Now, I clicked over to Channels, which is behind my Layers Palette. If you don't have a tab for Channels, just click on Windows > Channels. Then it should appear for you. Here is what it will look like in the Layers Palette after it's chosen.

With the Channels Menu open, click on the bottom New Layer Icon, it looks like a square with a folded corner. When you click, your image will turn black, and all other channels will be turned off. This is ok!

Once you have that black image, you will then click to turn on the RGB line. Then you will see your image as if you had red glasses on. Like this: 

Your Channels will look like this, and you will want to choose the Alpha 1 layer as your chosen layer.

Next, you will use a large, soft, brush. I've turned my opacity to 40%. This is to help in the blurring. As you will paint white, you don't want a stark difference, but more a subtle one. Using the opacity changed to a lower one will affect the mask that you are creating on the Alpha layer.

Here is my Alpha Layer. You can see yours by turning off the RGB line. [Technically, this is called a Depth Map].

Now, switch back to the Layer's Palette. Choose the layer that you have been wanting to blur. Once you have that, choose Filter > Blur > Lens Blur. A new screen will pop up.

For this menu box, click a check into Invert if it is not already there, make sure Alpha 1 is the source, and check Preview so you can see as you work what happens to your image. The easiest way to get the blur effect is to play with the Shape and Radius. Mine is currently a Hexagon and at a 39. play with your slider and see what you like the best. When done, click ok.

Here is my image. It is hard to tell, but if you scroll up, you can definitely see the blurred areas around the boat from the original picture.

Here is the same picture, I've saved the spotlight focus a  little bit bigger to show the detail...

There you go! Pretty easy, and it can really change your images, and their focus.

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