Everyone loves a soft, buttery bokeh to make their subject stand out against a busy background, but it's not always possible to make it in camera. Maybe the lighting conditions or physical environment don't cooperate, or perhaps you just haven't shelled out for that superfast f/1.4 prime yet. But all is not lost thanks to the magic of Photoshop.
Creating a soft bokeh is actually a fairly simple process, as Unmesh Dinda at PiXimperfect shows us in this tutorial. The power of Photoshop is really on display in this video as we see the program's A.I. create a reasonably accurate selection that is easily cleaned up with some masking and clone stamping. The tilt-shift blur effects give users plenty of options to achieve the desired look, and Dinda finishes off the image with some curve layers and color work.
The difference between the original image and the finished work is subtle until you look at them side by side and see what a tremendous difference the bokeh makes. The subtlety, though, is what makes the finished image convincing. It's always easy to over-process an image, but Dinda shows how to get the right effect without overdoing it and blowing out highlights, for instance.
If you've ever made an image that could be enhanced with some bokeh, give this tutorial a shot and post your image or comments below.