Adobe Photoshop has more filters and effects than you can possibly imagine. I was interested in an effect that involves picking an item in an image that you want to appear closer and blurring the background to appear that the object is nearer.
My first try (shown here) is really quite terrible as the tree should be more in the foreground for the effect to really stand out but I thought I’d post it just because it shows a couple of neat tricks.
In the original shot, taken at Peel Village Golf Course, the post at the first tee is in the foreground, the tree in the middle and the clubhouse behind. The post grabs your eye taking away from the colors in the tree. Solution, remove the post. Using the clone tool, I “paint” the surrounding area over the object I want to hide. A real rough job here (I didn’t match the color of the grass at the base of the post correctly). Still fun and it only took a minute.
I then extracted the tree by creating a layer copy and then highlighting the tree. Back to the original layer and use the clone tool again to copy the sky, clubhouse and garden over the part of the image I extracted.
Then I applied a Gaussian blur to the original so that the whole thing is out of focus to imply a greater depth to the picture than my small camera is capable of.
Finally, I restored the layer containing the extracted tree. Voila, now we have a shot that contains both sharp and blurred elements. Again, if the tree had been in the foreground, the resulting image would give the impression that the clubhouse was very far in the distance while the tree would pop out.
Had fun doing it and I’ll definitely use it in the future.