Remember the photo I posted here? It is an old photograph shot at the Botanical Garden in Montreal. I recall that the subject was behind a fence, which prevented me from getting close. There was also no way of shooting the subject at a different angle, but I took the photo anyway. When I uploaded it into my computer, I was disappointed at how busy the background was, so left it alone for a while, until recently.
I found a way to make it work in Photoshop Elements. I isolated the subject by completely blurring the background. On this tutorial, I am going to show you how that was achieved. This may not work with all photographs, so experiment a little and see what works for you. You may not get a good result if the background is too busy or involves too many colors (unless that’s what you were going for).
So let’s start.
Step 1. Duplicate the background. You can do this by clicking on your background layer and then click “Duplicate layer”, you may want to rename your duplicate layer to easily identify it. I am renaming mine “Gaussian Blur”.
Step 2. Outline the Subject that you want to isolate. Click on the Quick Selection Tool and slowly outline the edges of your subject. Once you are sure that you have selected the entire subject, click on Select, then Inverse.
Step 3. On your filter menu, find blur and choose Gaussian Blur. Choose the radius of the blur. Remember that the higher the number, the smoother the blur is. For my image, I pushed the slider all the way to the right (250 pixels). Experiment and see what works for your image.
Step 4. You have now isolated your subject from the background.
Last step. Flatten the image. If you are happy with the background blurriness, you may now flatten your image and add your own designs and edits.