Yep - it's been 365 days of blog bliss (on my part, tee hee hee) and hopefully I've made more than a few new friends out in the blogosphere :) I've completely loved this last year of web logging and it's so fun to see how I've improved in my photography and my photoshop skillz. I've enjoyed the ride and am looking forward to many more years!
Yes, What would a blogiversary be without some blog candy??!?! I'm going to be giving away a homemade gift...something brilliant..something I haven't thought of yet, but that's why it's so darn fabulous! It will be brilliant AND a surprise! YES!
What do you have to do? Just leave a comment with your name and email, AND mention something you've enjoyed about my blog over the last year - doesn't matter what, just like hearing from you :) I'll post a winner on...let's say....oh.....let's say on Friday! Okay, leave a comment on THIS post before Friday and you'll be entered! I really love knowing that someone out there is actually reading this thing, so comment away and you could be well rewarded. Mwah ha ha!
Okay, partying aside, this is also Tutorial Tuesday! I thought I'd show you a fun and easy way to create a blurry/fuzzy background on a photo that maybe has a distracting background etc. Now, as a photographer, I have to make a disclaimer here.... the easiest way to acheive this effect is by doing it with your camera first - how? Opening up your aperature as wide as it will go (in other words, set your f number as low as it will go), and getting closer to your subject. BUT if you can't do that, then try this photoshop elements technique! Here we go...
1. Open your photo (create a duplicate of the image first) Select the magnetic lasso tool from your tools pallette. Up at the top of the screen, in the box next to the word "feather" enter 3 px. That will help the blur blend in to the "in focus" part of the photo better. Make it transition from sharp to blurry better.
2. Move your mouse over your photo and click on the edge of the photo maybe around half way to a third of the way up (you don't want to blur the entire background from the bottom up, or it won't look natural). Click once and slowly drag your mouse, outlining as close as you can to your subject. The magnetic lasso tool will cling to contrasting colors. Neat eh? Just basically outline around your subject, up the side, across the top, and down to meet your starting point. Like so:
3. When you reach your starting point, click on the starting square and you'll have marching ants around your background. Go to the top of the screen and click on Filter>Blur>Gaussian blur.
4. Enter in a blur amount of 10 to start with. Lets not be crazy. You can see a preview of how it will look in the little screen above. You can make the number higher or lower depending on the effect you want. Just remember, less is more sometimes, especially if you want a natural effect. Click OK to commit to the change.
5. All you need to do now is get rid of your selection (the marching ants) by clicking on Select>Deselect (at the top of the screen). Voila!