Blurring the Background

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With the above image I'd like to select the woman and incense sticks and blur the background while not altering her any/keeping her sharp so as to isolate her a little more. I have an idea that it might involve layers and masks...but, alas, I know nothing about either of those. Can anyone help? Please?!
 
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Hey Paul! Aren't you supposed to be on holiday? :tongue:

I really appreciate the reply. Ideally I'd like to reproduce lens blur. Did Uncle Frank make a tutorial and post it on the Nikon Cafe? I could find it if that's the case.

So...I'm supposed to make another layer...and the what? I'm really lost when it comes to adding extra layers and whatnot. Anyway you could maybe do a bullet type of post? Like:

1. Do this
2. Then do this
3. Then this
4. Presto you're done

That'd be cool! I'll buy you a pint next time you're in Beijing! :biggrin:
 
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I think I might have nailed it.

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If anyone is interested - Here's what I did:

1. Made two background layers.
2. Used the magnetic lasso to select the girl and incense sticks
3. Pressed "Q" to get the ruby "quick mask" and painted white on the parts the magnetic lasso didn't select.
4. Removed the girl after saving her as a selection
5. Blurred the background using the "lens blur" filter at abou 60% radius.
6. Put the girl back in.
7. Presto I was done. :biggrin:
 
Joined
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How about another background?

Congratudations, Justin, on your new discovery and thank you to for posting your method. As you have found or will find out eventually, there are many ways to achieve the same effect in Photoshop. Each time you learn something new, your PS bag of tricks will expand.

Now, I have a proposal for you. How about doing something different with that background. Somehow it seems to over power your subject. My eye is distracted. Paul suggested one approach. Do you think you could come up with at least one more?

Please try and then show us what you've done and learned along the way.

Thanks, Virginia
aka beaucamera
 

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