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Library: Creative Design


Blur cluttered backgrounds to improve portrait photos

Added on Monday 4th of May 2009 09:23 am EST

Application > Adobe Photoshop CS/CS2
Operating Systems > Macintosh, Microsoft Windows

I work for a newspaper and I"m often given submitted head and shoulder shots that we use with op-ed and new business articles. Typically the backgrounds are cluttered and interfere with the readability of the photos. Do you know of any quick way to blur just the backgrounds to improve the shots?

With the advent of digital photography and email, many newspapers encourage their readers to submit photos of themselves that are used with the articles they write. While this adds personal appeal to the readership, it also presents a problem; the shots are often less than professional quality. Although retouching the physical features of the person in the shot is considered unethical, editing the background is not. Blurring the background to render it out of focus simplifies the shot and directs the visual attention to the individual.

One way to accomplish this is to use the Blur tool found in the Toolbox. But unless you have ample time to spend, wh...