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Bokeh&motion effect created in easy steps-by using adobe photoshop

Updated on August 18, 2013

I am a Photographer, with a Degree in Science, a Diploma in Fine Arts, a Diploma in Photography and an Advanced Diploma in Computer Application.I am associated with the Department of Culture, Government of U.P.India, and member of various photographic associations, groups,clubs etc, and taking active part in different photographic activities at National and International level.

Bokeh Japanese term for the subjective aesthetic quality of out-of-focus areas of a photographic image, or the visual quality of the out-of-focus areas of the image, especially as rendered by a particular lens. In other words Bokeh simply means blurred or out of focus. It is caused by using a shallow depth of field e.g. f2.8 or widest aperture, that creates a pleasing blur of color behind the subject. The type of lens and the depth of field play a large part in determining how out of focus the area is and whether or not it creates a pleasing effect in the image.

Sometimes the soft, blurred or out of focus background that you get when shooting a subject, using a fast lens and wide aperture gives an aesthetically pleasing effect to the image. Though special lens is required the get Bokeh in the image, but with the help of good quality photo-editing tool, as Adobe Photoshop, the same can be created in quick and easy steps described below.

Not only Bokeh an effect of fast movement and speed one can also achieve. See the image, where behind fast moving girls, in colorful attire, a large crowd of onlookers, hoardings and poles distract the view and spoil overall effect of the otherwise fine image. But after the treatment, image became attractive and appealing, with a strong message for the viewer. Following are the quick steps involved in creating and transforming the photograph.

Step 1

Very first step involves in opening the image in Adobe Photoshop, in which we desire to create this effect. ,preferably an image having interesting subject in the foreground and some forms or activity in the background. It is then become easy to identify where we want to create this effect.

Open an image


Step 2

In this image, I do not like the crowd, as well as the disturbing vertical pole position and a large hoarding. I decided to create an effect of fast movement, as the girls were actually dancing with joy. In combination with Bokeh, the motion effect will certainly result in a good photograph.

Step2: Duplicate layer. Go to layer-duplicate layer, select this layer in layer palette and name it as Bokeh.



Select layer named Bokeh


Step 4

Now go to Filter menu, apply Filter-blur-motion blur, having Angle-0, Distance-289, or whatever you require. The image will appear somewhat like this:


Step 5

While the selected layer is active, go to Tools and select History brush(y),a drop shadow brush is preferred. Put Adjust master diameter about 200, mode Norma, Opacity 15 and Flow 15,in the initial stages of recovering the main image and after wards opacity and flow can be adjusted according to need .Then start painting the foreground image, keeping in mind the part of the image which should be blurred. Gradually paint the entire image. The image will somewhat look like the following image.


Step 6

While painting the image with history brush, the diameter of the brush can be increases or decreased by pressing [or] on the key board.

Thus finish the entire image. When you are satisfied, that the resulting image is according to your liking, go to Layer-Flatten image.The final image with beautiful Bokeh and effect of speed, motion will appear like the image below.


Finished image

Open the finished photograph and admire the result, you have thus created in easy and quick steps.

Blurred or out of focus background in a photograph presents a beautiful and attractive effect.In this image I have added the speed effect, which shows as if the girls in their colorful attire dancing in quick motion, their robes are flying and they are presenting a cheerful mood and atmosphere.

We are flying.
We are flying. | Source

Few good examples of this technique

In the following images, I have created the Bokeh effect, using the aforementioned technique.

Before | Source
After | Source
Before | Source
After | Source


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    • profile image

      Rajesh Pal 4 years ago

      Most valuable, useful & interesting knowledge you are sharing here,

      Thanks lot to you.

    • Funkarkhalid profile image

      Khalid Ahmed 4 years ago from Lucknow

      As i am a creative photographer and a teacher,I try experimenting in my approach towards photography.Sometimes it helps in sharing what I have achieved, with fellow photographer and students.My first hub in his connection is here and I am waiting for the response from the visitors.