How to Blur the Edges of Your Image in Photoshop

Blur Edges in Photoshop

How to Quickly Blur the Edges of Your Image in Photoshop

Have you ever wondered how to blur the edges of your image in Photoshop to enhance the depth of field around the subject of your image?

The beautiful Pretty Actions Film Collection for Photoshop, makes it super easy to create a nice, soft blur around the edges of your image and bring the focus towards the center. And when I say easy, I mean REALLY easy - just ONE click!

This tutorial will also cover how to achieve a soft focus or tilt shift look using another action from our Film collection of Photoshop actions. Again with just one click of your mouse you can achieve a creamy soft focus look for a more creative style edit with just the very center of your image in focus.

Film Photoshop Actions

Of course all of these actions are completely customizable - you can adjust the opacity of each action and also remove the blur from certain areas of your image for a custom edit.

Step 1: Run the Blurred Edges Action

This action is found in the Pretty Actions Film Collection. Highlight the action and press play. When the pop up appears, go ahead and press continue. Remember, running this action will flatten your image, but will also retain a snapshot of your image in the History Panel.

Soften Edges Photoshop

Step 2: Adjust the Action

Of course you can adjust the opacity on the blurred edges effect. To do that, just click on the layer opacity. I like to bring mine down to zero, and then work my way back up until I find the level that works best for a particular image. In this case, I think an opacity of around 50% works best.

Here is the before and after (super subtle blur around the edges - which is perfect for most images):

Photoshop Feather Edges

How to Create a Creative Blur Effect to Your Image in Photoshop

Let's move onto our next image to run more of a creative enhancement. In this case we are going to add some soft focus. This one adds a lot more of a blur. It allows more of the middle of your image to be in focus and looks really nice on landscapes, creative edits, close ups.

Step 1: Run the Soft Focus Action

This action is found in the Pretty Actions Film Collection. Highlight the action and press play. When the pop up appears, go ahead and press continue. Remember, running this action will flatten your image, but also retain a snapshot of your image in the History Panel. I will again bring the opacity down to what I think works best for the image, in this case 45%.

Soften Edges Photoshop

Step 2: Run the Jewel Film Vignettes Action

To take this edit a little bit further, I'm going to run the Jewel Film Vignettes Action. Open the folder that appears, by clicking the down arrow next to the folder (Photoshop) or running the Open Folder Action at the bottom of the actions collection (Photoshop Elements).

Activate the Emerald Vignette Layer (or whichever matches your image best) by clicking on the small square next to the Emerald Vignette layer. An eye will appear to show that layer as visible. Go ahead and play with that opacity. I'm going to keep mine right around 64%.

Here is the before and after:

How to Soften Edges in Photoshop

How to Customize the Blur in These Photoshop Actions

You have complete ability to customize the blur. If these actions are giving more blur on your image than you would like or you want to remove the blur from a specific area, follow the instructions below.

Step 1: Brush Settings

To do this, make sure your brush tool is selected. These next selections are automatically made, but if you want to double-check the settings, make sure that brush is selected, and black is the foreground color.

How to Feather Edges in Photoshop

Depending on how much blur you want to remove, you can adjust the Brush Opacity. I generally keep it around 50%.

Step 2: Paint the Blur Off Using a Layer Mask

Make sure that the layer mask for the blur layer you wish to adjust is selected. Click on the white box on the layer you wish to adjust (this is the layer mask). You will notice the little brackets around the layer mask (white rectangle).  They will let you know it is selected.

Photoshop Fade Edges

You can make the brush larger and smaller using the left and right bracket keys, and brush over the areas where you want to remove the blur.

Now, simply paint on your image where you want to remove the blur.  You see black lines appearing on the mask. This will let you know where the blur has been removed.

How to Blur Edges in Photoshop - Video Tutorial

 

Here's a link to another one of my Photoshop tutorials that includes my favorite recipe for editing a dreamy city scene using the Pretty Actions Film Collection.

Do you have any questions or comments about How to Blur Edges in Photoshop?  Leave us a comment below - we would LOVE to hear from you!  And PLEASE SHARE our tutorial using the social sharing buttons (we really appreciate it)!

Photoshop Actions

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