In this tutorial, you will learn to create and apply Bokeh Overlays. We will use photos that are less than perfect to create the overlays, but those bad images will still give us great results.
Create the Bokeh with the Field Blur Filter
The easiest way to create bokeh overlays in Photoshop is to use the Field Blur filter (Filter > Blur Gallery > Field Blur). This blur contains an Effects tab that allows you create bokeh out of the bright areas of the images.
As you will see in this video tutorial, the contents of the photo are not important, as long as the images are not too bright. Here’s an example of what the Effects tab looks like, and the settings that you will need to use to create the bokeh effect.
You will need to adjust the Light Bokeh, Bokeh Color, and Light Range to create the Bokeh effect on most of your photos. To Adjust the size of the bokeh add or subtract blur by using the Blur slider. Adding more blur makes the bokeh circles larger.
Apply Bokeh Overlays Using Blending Modes
After you create your bokeh overlay, you can apply it to any image by using the Screen blending mode, which will hide dark pixels and reveal bright ones.
You can then use any adjustment layer that adjusts luminosity to control the blend. In this tutorial, the Levels Adjustment Layer will be used to control the intensity of the bokeh overlay.
Othe Photoshop Tips & Tricks To Enhance This Photo
Although this tutorial is all about bokeh overlays, we will also take the time to enhance this project by creating other fun effects.
Sun Flare Effect
We will use a similar technique as to what you saw in my Shallow Depth of Field Effect tutorial.
Apply a Color Tone Using a Selective Color Adjustment Layer
In this tutorial, I will also show you how you can apply a color tone (or color grade) to an image using the Selective Color Adjustment Layer.
If you would like to learn more about using adjustment layers to apply color to images, watch my Cinematic Color Grading Tutorial.
Sharpen Eyes With The Sharpen Tool
This video also contains a section where I show you how to sharpen eyes using the Sharpen tool and the Luminosity blending mode. It’s a quick and straightforward technique that achieves great results!
Lens Blur Filter to Apply Noise
To finalize the image I will show you one of my favorite compositing techniques. By applying film grain or noise to a photo, you make it all tie together, by adding that extra level of realism. I like to use the Lens Blur filter to add noise since I also it also allows you to add a blur at the same time if need be.
Here’s what you will learn in this Bokeh Overlays Tutorial:
- Place images into Photoshop Documents.
- Create bokeh with the Field Blur filter.
- Apply overlays using Blending Modes.
- Use Levels to adjust Blending Modes.
- Use Layer Masks to hide the bokeh effect.
- Distort images to create better bokeh overlays.
- Composite overlays onto a photo.
- Create a sun flare.
- Use Selective Color to apply a color tone.
- Sharpen eyes with the Sharpen tool.
- Apply noise using the Lens Blur filter.
Adobe Stock Image Used:
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