How to Blur Edges in Photoshop

Would you like to blur the edges in your photo? It’s the best way to focus attention to the subject of your photo by blending the edges to white or transparent background. This simple tutorial on how to blur edges in Photoshop is going to show you exactly how to do that.

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Blur Edges in Photoshop with Feather Selection

You may need to photoshop feathering edges to achieve a tender and dreamy effect in the photo. This technique works well for creating a subtle gradient of a foreground picture into a background.

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1. Define the Area for Feathering

how to blur edges in photoshop

Tools Panel > Marquee Menu > Elliptical Marquee Tool (M)

To begin feathering in Photoshop, find the Elliptical Marquee Tool on the toolbox on the left and draw the desired shape. I traced a vertical oval surrounding the couple in the picture. Like the majority PS tools for selection, the Elliptical Marquee makes selections with hard edges. Therefore, to get a necessary vignetting effect, you need to make the edges slightly softer.

2. Feather the Edges

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Select>Modify>Feather (Shift+F6)

To make soft edges in Photoshop, click on Select > Modify > Feather. Depending on the picture’s resolution, the final effect after you apply feathering will be different.

photoshop feather edges

Set Feather Radius > OK

A 20-pixel feather in a 72 ppi (pixels per inch) picture is significantly bigger than a 20-pixel feather in a 300 ppi picture.

photoshop feather edges

Tools Panel > Edit in Standard Mode (Q)

For a beautiful vignetting effect on the picture’s edges, I recommend selecting the values from 20 to 50 pixels. Don’t hesitate to play around with pictures to achieve a better result. I selected a 30-pixel feather. Then click OK to apply the settings.

3. Inverse the Selection

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Select > Inverse (Shift+Ctrl+l)

Click on Select > Inverse for inversing the selection in the picture. This way, you are deselecting the part, which was earlier selected, and selecting the part, which wasn’t earlier selected. As a result, you efficiently swap the selection.

4. Choose the Color

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Adjustments > Solid Color

The next step of blending edges in Photoshop is to choose the color of these edges. In the “Adjustments” menu at the bottom of the Layers panel, choose “Solid Color”.

photoshop fade edges color picker

Choose Color > OK

You will see a color picker window. Experiment with colors and tints, until you find the right for your photo color sheme. Then, press “OK”.

photoshop fade edges color fill

Now, you’ll see your photo with feathered edges.

fade edges photoshop final result

Here is what we see after the edges are blurred. This red overlay means that your feather radius has been added. Done! Now you know how to blur edges in Photoshop. If you need to, you can finetune the results: change the feather radius or color of the feathering.

Blur Edges Online and in Apps

If you prefer editing photos on the go, choose one of the following apps to blur edges. Note, in some apps you can’t regulate feathering color and opacity. It really reduces your chances of getting a realistic vignetting effect.

1. Quick Picture Tools

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Blur Edges Online

This tool is perfect for feathering edges in the shot. In case the size of the picture you upload is bigger than 1500px, it is reduced to 1500px. The possibility of choosing PNG format lets you have a transparent background. The tool supports PNG, JPG and GIF picture formats.

2. Final Touch

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This app offers everything you need to effectively add a vignette effect and can be a great alternative to feather Photoshop tool. You may choose circle-, square- or ellipse-shaped vignettes, change the position and rotation of the vignette, tweak the size of the feather. Moreover, Final Touch provides an opportunity to apply in-app vignettes to the pictures, which are fully customizable.

3. Tuxpi

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Blur Edges Online

Upload the shot to this website and apply a vignette of different colors. You may adjust the fade-in levels along with the opacity. To check the result, just zoom in and out of the picture.

4. Photo-Kako

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Blur Edges Online

Here is one of the best picture post-processing websites created in Japan. With its user-friendly interface, you won’t have any difficulties adjusting feathered edges. The website offers various shapes, threshold, radius, margins, etc.

5. Canva

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Iphone App Store
download from google play
 

Canva is aimed at simplifying the process of designing and basic image editing. Its vignette effect can be an excellent analog to Photoshop soften edges tool. The vignette in the app is applied by adjusting sliders.

Photoshop Photo Editing Freebies

Prior to using Photoshop fill feather tool, you need to improve the picture and correct colors. Download the following free Photoshop actions and overlays to make your photos pop in several clicks.

Free PS Overlay "Lollypop”

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Make your shots more captivating by applying this PS overlay and adding splashes of colorful watercolor. This overlay in particular, adds pink and peachy watercolor to the picture.

Free PS Overlay "Lights”

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If you need to add tenderness to your images, this bokeh overlay will successfully cope with this task by creating a dreamy, softer background. With this overlay, you will be able to imitate a bokeh effect produced by high-end lenses.

Free PS Action "Cool”

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This action is aimed at adding cold shades to the colors in the shot and putting emphasis on blue tones. Besides, it helps eliminate a yellowish tint, which “messes up” the overall look of the image. Your picture will appear deep and sharp.

Free PS Action "Matte Effect”

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This is a universal and unique matte PS action, which is perfect for adding a traditional faded look to the shots of all genres and styles. It gives softness to the image with the subdued and mild shades.

Free PS Action "Warm”

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This HDR action makes the image more dimensional, softer and lighter, puts emphasis on the details and adds a pink tone. Apply it to pictures featuring colorful textures since they need a slightly expanded dynamic range. As a result, the image becomes more appealing and eye-catching.


Ann Young

Hi there, I'm Ann Young - a photographer, photo retoucher and of course, journalist. Here on FixThePhoto blog you can find all of my reviews, photography and photo editing tips, pricing guides, and photography experiments. read more