In photography, the soft focus effect is created using special camera lenses. But with image editing apps, it’s a snap to create a soft focus effect in any of your images.
Layers, the Polygon Lasso Tool, the Blur effect and the Gradient Tool are used in this tutorial.
Open the image to which you would like to add a soft focus effect.
Click to select the Polygon Lasso Tool in the Tools palette and start selecting the object you want to focus on. Use any of the selection tools or a combination of them to make the selection.
Copy the selected object. Choose Edit > Duplicate. A new layer named “Layer via Copy” is created.
Invert the selection by choosing Edit > Invert Selection.
Next, to copy the background content, select the Background Layer in the Layers palette. Then, choose Edit > Duplicate. A new layer is created with the background except for the main object.
Apply the Gaussian effect to blur the new layer. In the Effects Browser, double-click the Gaussian thumbnail to apply the effect. Adjust the Radius slider until you are happy with the effect.
Give your image some color with the Gradient Tool.
Create a new layer by clicking the Add Button (+) in the Layers palette. Next, click to select the Gradient Tool in the Tools palette. In the Gradients palette (View > Show Gradients), pick the purple gradient preset and select the Radial option from the available menu. Apply the gradient.
Finally, change the Gradient layer Blending mode to Soft Light and reduce the Opacity to around 70%. And, that’s all!