The typical EOY missive we get has a picture or two along with the tales of what went on during the year. The background for today's images comes from the "picture" included on the page. I figured it went from graffiti to sort of a holiday feel and you certainly can't tell one came from the other. Blurred backgrounds can be made from just about any image you have on your hard drive. It just depends on what type of background you're looking for. Kelby takes it one (or two) steps further and comes up with some very cool effects.
Okay, here's how easy it is to do the basic switch from a sharp image to a blurred background. Open the image you're going to use. Do an ALT/Double click on the strip in the Layers Panel. That'll unlock the Background Layer and make it a "normal" Layer. Go to Filter/Blur/Iris Blur. Make the targeted area very small. (Pull in the dots along the outside ring.) Now (and here's the trick) move the targeted area (Click and drag the center dot) off the image. The rest is just playing. The dialog box that comes up with the new CS6 Blur Tools has a couple of sliders. Bring up the Blur Slider. Bring up the Light Bokeh and the Bokeh Color. Play with the Light Range Sliders. When you get something you like, stop. That's it.
Looking at today's image, one thing I might do (if I were actually going to send out a communiqué ) is put a New Layer under the blurred background and fill it with white. Then I'd play with the Blend Modes or lower the Opacity to make the background a little more subtle.
Like I said, Kelby took it another couple steps and I'd recommend you go checkout the NAPP-A-Thon show. If you're not a NAPP (National Association of Photoshop Professionals) member, you should be. I know my yearly membership fee more than pays for itself in the discounts they offer. IN fact. a couple years ago I saved enough in one shot to have paid for that year's membership. I ordered a 105" paper backdrop roll from B&H Photo and the shipping would have been just about the price of the membership fee. Because I was a NAPP member, the shipping was free.
I hope everyone has a great 2013, even if you got (or sent) a yearly recap newsletter. ;-)