December 15, 2011
Shoot and Edit: Week 49 – Bokeh Lights…EDIT (Guest Tutorial: How to Create Bokeh Using Photoshop)
Welcome to the 49th week of Shoot and Edit: Part 2. Click HERE for all the details and upcoming prompts/themes (also including previous editing tutorials). This week’s theme or prompt was to show us one “Bokeh Lights” SOOC shot (this was just a suggestion, you can show us any SOOC shot). Hopefully you linked up with Jill’s blog earlier this week.

This week, Mira Crispvolunteered  to share a creative lesson with us. For those of you that use Photoshop, I think you’ll really enjoy this one. Any case, please give Mira a warm welcome!

Hello to all of Ashley’s lovely readers! I hope you all love Bokeh, since today I will show you how to create it using Adobe Photoshop. As most people do, I prefer the real thing, but sometimes “the real thing” needs some help and that’s where Photoshop comes in really handy. To create the Bokeh effect in Photoshop, we will need to create a brush first.
Santa SOOC
Open a new document in PS…2000x2000px size works the best. Once you have a new document, go on and add a new layer by selecting the new layer icon at the layers dialog (to open Layers dialog press F7 on your keyboard or find it in your toolbar). Now, when you have the new transparent layer, unselect (hide) the background layer. Next, select the Ellipse tool from the Shapes menu and draw a medium size ellipse; ensure you select black for the color. Why black? You can read my post “How to Create a Brush” to find out why black works the best for new brushes and I also provide a step-by-step process.
Once you create an ellipse shape, hold the CTRL/COMMAND key and click on the vector mask thumbnail. This will select your shape and you’ll be able to see the selection. Open the Layers Style dialog and change the Stroke settings: size to 10 and position to inside and make sure the fill color is black. Change the Layer’s Fill to 50%. Leave the Opacity at 100%. Now, while the selection is still active, go to your Edit toolbar and select Define Brush Preset. This will create your new brush. If you try to use it, you will see that is does not really resemble Bokeh.
To get the Bokeh effect, we need to change the brush dynamics. Make sure your brush is selected and open the brush dialog (to open the Brush dialog, press F5 on your keyboard or find it in your toolbar). We need to change a few things here: brush size, dynamics, and scattering. There is no rule on what numbers/settings are the best therefore; I will not suggest how to set your brush. It all depends on what you like but I will show you my numbers and you can go from there. Changing these settings will allow your brush to act as a Bokeh brush.
Now, when our brush is ready, you can paint as many Bokehs as you wish. Select the color that matches your image color scheme and have fun! I prefer to use individual mouse clicks for better control over the Bokeh. I also like to use another little trick that improves the realistic Bokeh appearance. Please check out my latest post How to Create Realistic Bokeh Effect Using Photoshop to find out more.
And that’s it. I hope you enjoyed it and have a great day everyone!

Mira Crisp

Wasn’t that an awesome tutorial? Thanks so much Mira! For your edit, I would love to see you continuing using the lessons we’ve covered in the past 48 weeks as well as apply today’s lesson or share something you’ve learned recently. I hope you all have a great Thursday and I look forward to seeing your edits. Next week’s theme is “Holiday Traditions.” Have a great Thursday!
Good to WOW

By the way, don’t forget to add your edited photo to our good to WOW {EDIT} Flickr Group (for those of you that prefer to upload and visit that way). When adding your photos to the group pool, be sure to include the Week #, the Theme and EDIT in the description section. You may upload one photo per week. I also want to point out that we are all here to improve our editing skills. When offering constructive criticism (either on Flickr or within blog comment sections), be sure to point out at least one thing you really like about the edit before offering any advice for improvement.