How to Blur Edges in Photoshop in 4 Easy Steps

To achieve a dreamy effect, fix harsh edges, or bring attention to your subject – there could be many reasons why you would want to blur the edges of your image. Besides these factors, blurring the edges of your image could also help you enhance its overall appeal. And one of the easiest and quickest ways to achieve this effect is by using Photoshop. If you are not familiar with the process, then you may want to read till the end. In this tutorial, we will take you through a four-step process that will help you learn how to blur edges in Photoshop to a solid background! Let’s get started!

How to Blur Edges in Photoshop Using the Feather Selection

Infographic stating blur edges to achieve a dreamy effect, fix harsh edges, or bring attention to your subject
  • Step 1: Make Selection Using any Selection Tool
  • Step 2: Blur the Edges
  • Step 3: Inverse the Selection
  • Step 4: Select the Color of the Edges

1. Make Selection Using Any Selection Tool

To start the editing process, begin by importing your image into Photoshop. To do this, you can simply drag the image file you want to use to the Photoshop app icon. You can also choose to first open the software, go to File, click on Open, and then select the image file. After you have the file opened in Photoshop, begin with the process of making a selection of the areas that you don’t want to get blurred in the image.

Making selection through elliptical marquee tool in Photoshop
Image Courtesy of @kpcandcophoto

On the left-hand side of the screen, go to the toolbar and click on the Elliptical Marquee Tool icon. If you want to soften the edges in a rectangular shape, you can choose the Rectangular Marquee Tool instead of this one. Now, select the portion of the image (usually the subject) that you want to keep as it is. Once you have made the Selection, you will see that the selected area is bordered by a line that looks like marching ants.

Suggested Read: How To Edit Portraits In Photoshop

2. Blur the Edges

Feathering the edges in Photoshop
Image Courtesy of @kpcandcophoto

In this step, we will go ahead with feathering the edges. To do this, go to the menu bar at the top and click on Select, then choose Modify, and select Feather from the drop-down menu. When you do that, the Feather Selection dialog box will appear on the screen. Now, in the Feather Radius section, enter the value you want and click OK. You can choose the pixel value anywhere between 20 and 40 pixels. If you want a different result, you can try altering the value later. The Feather Radius determines how quickly the feather will fade in your image.

In order to view the area where you applied the feather effect more precisely, you can turn on the Quick Mask Mode. To do this, go to the left-hand toolbar and select the Quick Mask Mode icon (the icon shows up as a circle within a rectangle). Once you click on the icon, a red overlay will appear over the unselected part of the image. If you wish to turn it off, you can unselect the icon, and it will return to the normal viewing mode.

3. Inverse the Selection

Inversing the selection
Image Courtesy of @kpcandcophoto

In this step, we will inverse the Selection. Now, go to Select in the top menu bar again and click on Inverse. After doing this, you will see that the outside of the image has been bordered by marching ants. This means that the Selection is inversed, and you have deselected the part which was previously selected. You can also perform this function using the shortcut Shift + Ctrl + l.

4. Select the Color of the Edges

This is the last step in the process of blurring the edges in Adobe Photoshop. In this step, you will choose the color of the edges. To do so, go to the bottom of the Layer panel and click on the Adjustments menu, and from the drop-down menu, select Solid Color. As you click on it, a Color Picker window will appear. Now, you can choose the color and experiment with it as per your preference. Once you get your desired results, click on OK. Notice that the edges of the image will now appear feathered and smooth.

Further Read: How To Easily Create Vignette In Photoshop

Collage of two images showing the comparison between the original image and final image
Image Courtesy of @kpcandcophoto

We hope you found this blog on how to blur edges in Photoshop helpful. To master this process and achieve the look you want, keep practicing these steps on different images and see what works best. If you want more tips on how to use other Photoshop tools to speed up your post-production workflow, you can explore our Lightroom and Photoshop section. If you have any doubts or questions, feel free to reach out to us in the comments section.

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