Zoom Filter
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Zoom Filter

Underwater Photoshop

One filter that does work for u/w subjects is the Radial Blur (zoom) filter.

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click to launch underwater Photoshop video tutorial

The first thing you do is start with a photo of a Frogfish. Nice enough already, lets give it some Pop!

geat advice! The best (non-destructive) way to apply any filter is to create a smart object (or run a smart filter) and then maskmasks can be attached to layers to protect areas from editing changes. Masks can be saved as alpha channels. the filter.

geat advice! Hold the space bar to reposition the selection as you are drawing it.

Now, it's important to feather the selection. If you don't the effect will be too harsh and obvious. The feather creates a soft edge and a smooth transition to the blurred areas.

Choose Selectnext command to followModifynext command to followFeather (Photoshop CS3 and CS4 - before that it was Selectnext command to followFeather).

Depending on the resolution you will change the size of the feather.

Right now you have a selection around the center of the image. We want to select everything BUT the center.

Choose Selectnext command to followInverse or shortcut key to press on your keyboard shortcut Ctrl-Shift-I (Cmd-Shift-I on Mac)

You should see the selectiona selected area that allows editing changes. Areas outside a selection are protected. Hold Shift to add Option to subtract Ctrl + D to deselect and Ctrl + I to invert go around the edge of your page now. This is where the effect happens.

Choose Filternext command to followBlurnext command to followRadial Blur

  • Choose Zoom as the method

  • Select Good for quality (Best takes forever with little improvement in quality)

Choose your amount to suit. For a heavier blur use 100. You might have to test it and undo a few times to get exactly what looks best on your image.

And here we have the final result. Changing the feather and the blur amount will change the effect. Experiment with different shaped selections and different amounts of blur. In some cases you may want to apply the blur more than once.

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Psssst! Have you seen our U/W Photo course yet? It's the best course to learn underwater photography the easy way online.