There are a number of ways to improve the focus on your subject using PS Elements.

I’m going to start with one of my own photos – a Traffic Signal Box.

B0730 – DSC02716- tsb-edmonstone by Rae Allen, on Flickr

It would be an OK image but the background is a bit hot, the walkers may be a bit distracting, and the colours are a bit washed out.

I’m going to use PS Elements to make the TSB stand out more, and in a process that is about 5 minutes work.

First I select and copy the main object. Now you know why I chose the signal box – its regular shape. Add that copy back in as a new layer.

Working on just the background, darken the image.

Still just working on the background apply a Gaussian blur.

At this stage you already have the TSB standing out, but it is time to work on the foreground.

First adjust the lighting:

Then increase the colour saturation:

The result – a photo with far more focus on the subject, and worth comparing to the original if you were using it in a story.

I should mention that a lot of the effects added to this photo could have been achieved in taking the image itself – I just didn’t think about it at the time.

( originally posted on Mixed media reporting tumblr )

By Rae Allen

Rae Allen is a digital media professional.

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