PE Layer Exercise 1

Creating artificial “Dept of Field” with Photoshop Elements

In this exercise I will demonstrate how to create artificial depth of field by using two layers of the same photograph. The first layer contains a sharp picture of a giraffe nibbling on some twigs, the second layer is an identical copy of the sharp picture which is blurred with a gaussian blur filter. The sharp picture layer is stacked on top of the blurred picture layer. A layer mask is added to the sharp layer, and a black paintbrush is used in the layer mask to reveal the blurred layer below the sharp layer.

The next three pictures are for reference, as we have covered cropping and cloning in the previous two topics.

This is the original Giraffe picture, somewhat reduced in size. If you like you can download it and practice cloning to get to the post processed picture used in the blurring exercise.

Here I have roughly cloned out the cables, the background sheet battens and most of the tree branches. This to prepare for cropping towards a better composition.

Note: For layer functions in Photoshop Elements, you have to be in “Expert Mode”

By cropping the previous picture I have placed the Giraffe head in the upper left 1/3, and the tree branch is a leading line to this point of interest. This is the base picture for the exercise. You can copy it to your hard drive for practice. (Right click and “Save Image As”)

If you have trouble reading the red captions, click on the image to enlarge in a new window. To return to this page use the browser “back button”

Click on the image to see the full image in a new window. Click the browser back button to return to this page.


Here is the finished product.

If you have questions or comments please use the “reply” option below. I will try to answer in a timely fashion.


1 Response to PE Layer Exercise 1

  1. Della says:

    I do not have photoshop element . I only have photoshop. I am not sure how the layer mask works in photoshop.

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