Flower Impressions -- Diffusion II

If you don't have a diffusion filter to use on the lens when you are shooting, you can create a diffusion effect using Photoshop or Elements with any sharp flower image you already have in your collection. By making use of layer blending modes, you can create diffusion effects not possible with the camera, lens and filter alone.

Diffusion with Gaussian Blur and Darken Blend mode

These steps work with either Photoshop or Elements.
  • Open a flower image. 
  • Choose Layer>Duplicate Layer.
  • Name it Diffusion and click OK.
  • Choose Filter>Blur>Gaussian Blur.
    • Adjust the Radius slider to produce the amount of diffusion you desire.
    • Click OK.
    • You can reduce the amount of diffusion by decreasing the Opacity of the layer.
  • You can also experiment with different Blending modes. (optional)
    • In the Layers panel, change the Blending Mode from Normal to Darken to soften the shadows.
    • In the Layers panel, change the Blending Mode from Normal to Lighten to soften the highlights.
  • You can use a layer mask to hide the effect from portions of the image. (optional) 
    • Choose Layer>Layer Mask>Reveal All
    • Click on the mask thumbnail.
    • Choose a soft edge paintbrush (type B).
    • In the Options bar (Elements: Tool Options), be sure the Mode is Normal and the Opacity 100%.
    • Set the foreground color to black (type D, then X).
    • Paint over the area you want to remain sharp.
    • Change the size of the brush using the square bracket [ ] keys.
  • Make any adjustments to brightness, contrast, and/or color you wish using adjustment layers (Curves, Hue/Saturation, Vibrance, etc.). (optional)
If you'd like to learn more fun ways to create flower impressions, join my class at the Lifelong Learning Center in Missoula, Montana, beginning April 4, 2019. Click here to register.