Creating Focus on the Photo


In this tutorial I will show you how to create the focus on individual items on a photo. Usually, this effect can be done with a photo camera. But what if the focus needs to be done already on the finished photo?

Final Image Preview

Creating Focus on the Photo


Step 1

Open japanese dish photo and let´s start our tutorial.

Creating Focus on the Photo 1

Step 2

Now we need to decide where we want to put the focus. Let it be dish area. Get out the Elliptical Marquee Tool and create selection similar to the selection on my picture below.

Creating Focus on the Photo 2

Step 3

Blur selection borders about 50 pixels with Select > Modify > Feather (or press Ctrl+Alt+D or Shift+F6 according to Photoshop version).

Creating Focus on the Photo 3

Then select the Sharpen Tool (Strength: 30%) and soft round brush about 400 pixels to restore the sharpness of the selected area a little bit. It will be center of focusing.

Creating Focus on the Photo 4

Step 4

Invert selection with Ctrl+Shift+I and apply Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur with similar settings to these:

Creating Focus on the Photo 5

Creating Focus on the Photo 6

Step 5

We know that the focus should be gradual, so we should slightly increase the area of selection and blur long field more. Apply Select > Inverse to invert selection back and increase selection about 100 pixels more with Select > Modify > Expand.

Creating Focus on the Photo 7

Creating Focus on the Photo 8

Step 6

Now invert selection again and apply Filter > Blur >Gaussian Blur with next presets:

Creating Focus on the Photo 9

Creating Focus on the Photo 10

Step 7

We are done with creating focus on the photo. And the last one effect that I want to add on my own is to add color to black and white gradient. Press Ctrl+J to duplicate selected area to the new layer and desaturate it with Image > Adjustments > Desaturate (or press Shift+Ctrl+U).

Creating Focus on the Photo 11

Step 8

Select the Eraser Tool and soft round brush about 300 pixels to remove inner part of upper layer with black and white photo fragment.

Creating Focus on the Photo 12

Final Image

Creating Focus on the Photo

That is it for now. In this way we got focus on the photo in Photoshop which we usually can make only by professional photo camera. Nothing is difficult! Keep on practice and experimenting!


  • Ari

    Very helpful if you don’t have a large aperture camera lens!

  • Mike

    Useful technique, thanks!

  • Childmonster

    Quick and easy tutorial :)

  • Debarati Rakshit

    awesum :) :)

  • ehsan

    Simple and very functional thanks

  • Abhimanyu

    Nice and short tutorial. Thanks!

  • TaVi

    Cool effect, I did knew how to do this, but this is a completely new method of doing it.

  • peter

    good tip

  • filza


  • azardeen


  • Janos

    Wow great tip.This will help me a lot.

  • Yusuf

    Very impressive.awesome tutorial. i think this Focus of photo tutorial very helpful professional and non- professional graphic designer

  • mary jane

    wow thats a great tips

  • sunil gupta

    marvellous technique in a step by step manner

  • Katja Nina

    Great tutorial – thanks!

  • viking viserbellaIla

    It is very useful I’ll use it for mine site.
    Thank you


  • image viewer

    I am quite impressed by this, I was always thinking that how one used to take the photographs like this, but now understand the whole concept and would love to try out someday.

  • Kershon

    gr8 stuff tnx

  • Swopper Stuhl

    One quick tutorial :) Nice focus effect … subtle but effective .. thanks for sharing :)

  • Kreatywny projekt

    Quick and helpfull, thanks!

  • claire

    wow!!!!!!!!!!!!!very nice

  • Elsie

    thank you! ^^

  • Phyu Phyu


  • waqqas

    Thanks a lot man, very impressive work.
    Easy, understanding, to the point, and last but not least helpful………..

  • HI10

    THANKS !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Elegantbutt

    Pretty Good Tut

  • Not that good

    Never use gaussian blur, it sucks and instantly gives unprofessional feeling on the photo. Use Lens blur. It’s kinda more heavy to render for your computer but it’s worth it. And that effect just ruins that photo wich is fine without it.

  • Cham

    Saw this tutorial, did the exact same just imho a bit easier. used iris blur (CS6), then just added a hue/saturation adjustment layer to add the desaturated areas.
    Finally i added a little of vignette to really focus the photo.

  • Shosh Kanner

    Thanks! sometimes I really need to use this effect.

  • moynul

    Awesome photo manipulation. Thanks!


    How about blurring the whole image(using the blur mode preferred), applying a mask and then brushing in the desired focused area? I thought that would give the same effect but a bit easier.

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