I mentioned to a friend and fellow Cafe member today that I like using the Linear Gradient Tool (remember that NX2 now also has a Radial Gradient Tool) to apply Gaussian blur to enhance a 3-dimensional effect. He liked seeing how easy it is to do and liked the results so much that I thought other folks might enjoy thinking about it too. I showed him a grab shot I recently took, which unfortunately involved too much grabbing and too little thinking. Nearly everything in the image is detrimentally in focus, including the distracting background. I also showed him the same grab shot with Guassian blur applied using the Linear Gradient Tool. The reason I chose that tool rather than one of the other selection tools is that it allows me to easily apply gradually more and more blur to the part of the image that is further and further away from the subject. That's particularly easy to do now that NX2 provides control of the graduated portion of the gradient. The resulting look resembles the gradually increasing blur that occurs in the area of an image that is out of focus when the depth of field is intentionally limited. The "before" and "after" images are shown immediately below. BEFORE THE GRADIENT TOOL IS USED All of the background is too sharp. Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available) AFTER THE GRADIENT TOOL IS USED The grass on the left side of the image that is a few feet away from the road is blurred but intentionally not as much as the objects that are farther away. View attachment 216393 Notice that I mention that Gaussian blur applied with the Linear Gradient Tool resembles the ideal look, not that it perfectly replicates it. Certainly the best thing to do is to get the shot right by capturing the ideal depth of field. However, if that doesn't happen and the shot is reasonably salvageable, the Linear Gradient Tool can come in very handy.