I hope everyone had a wonderful long weekend and are enjoying these weeks preceding Christmas! I have been so busy with everything going on lately, but I finally had some time to sit down and finish my newest fine art action called “Freelensing Bliss”.
If you are new to freelensing, this post will help explain it. It is usually done in-camera, but from personal experience it can be very frustrating to get the exact depth-of-field and focus you want, especially when you are taking photos of kids. I absolutely love the effect, so I decided to write an action to do it for me, after I take the photo. And this action will work on any image, including professional images to low resolution phone snapshots, so have fun playing with it and make your own art!
I wrote this action a month or two ago and just hadn’t had time to finalize it and get the tutorial written. Today I decided I was going to get it done, so imagine my frustration when I had a blip in Photoshop and lost my final version of the action! I had to rewrite it almost from scratch… But it is finally finished and better than the original.
You have to read the tutorial before using this action or it won’t run correctly. But it is so fast and easy once you do it once and you will find yourself applying it to so many of your own images!
CoffeeShop “Freelensing Bliss” Photoshop/PSE Action Tutorial: PLEASE READ BEFORE USING THE ACTION!!!
BEFORE STARTING THE ACTION: Open your image and make a copy of the background layer (Ctrl-J).
Make sure Layer 1 is selected, and then grab your lasso tool (with no feathering) and select the area on the image you want to remain in focus.
Make sure the top layer (Layer 1) is selected. Start the action!
The first step is to soften the selection using the Gaussian Blur. Adjust the Radius until you are happy with the selection. Then press OK.
Now you will be able to adjust the lens blur on the rest of the image. I have preset the settings, but feel free to play with the sliders until you love it on your image (especially the radius). Then press OK. It might take awhile to finish as this step takes a lot of computer memory if you are working with a high resolution image.
This is what the image looks like after the action finishes. Now you can go in and fine-tune the edit. At this point I will keep the B&W Vintage Brown layer turned on.
I painted out the top Contrast Adjustment layer off her face as her face was too dark. I used a soft black brush at low opacity. You can also adjust the opacity of this layer, turn it completely off if you want a brighter image, or click to open it and play with the settings under the Levels curves.
I have two settings which brighten only the whites. I turned on the Brighten Whites Glow layer and keep it on 100% opacity. I love how this really makes the whites pop! You can also use the Brighten Whites if you don’t want the softness.
If you want a slightly different B&W conversion, turn off B&W Vintage Brown and turn on B&W Vintage Blue. You can also adjust the gradient colors by clicking on it to open it and adjusting the colors.
There is an option for a basic B&W too! You can use a combo of the B&W layers if you turn them on at different opacities.
Or turn off all of the B&W layers for a lovely color version. I turned on the Desaturate layer so the colors weren’t too intense.
Finally, if you want to remove some of the lens blur off areas of the image (like her face in this example), click to select the Lens Blur layer mask and use a soft dark low opacity brush to paint off blur.
In this image I added the Matte Effect by adjusting the Black Output slider under the curve (to 27 instead of 0). I think this is hauntingly gorgeous.
I hope you love using this action as much as I do. Please post your own before/afters on my Facebook page, I would love to see them!
Download the CoffeeShop “Freelensing Bliss” Photoshop/PSE Action!
Do you want to download my favorite CoffeeShop PSE/Photoshop Actions and Lightroom Presets or Design Elements in one convenient zipped file AND help support this blog? Just click here for my action pack or here for all the actions/presets and professional design elements, storyboards, and textures.
For complete info on installing all of my actions, click here.
More from Rita: