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Adding a Bokeh Light Effect

By Corey Barker  ·  January 17th, 2011

This simple technique from Corey Barker adds a touch of bokeh to the background of your photos. It’s best for photos with a dark, blank background.

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20 Replies to Adding a Bokeh Light Effect:

  1. Ken

    January 17, 2011 at 3:29 pm

    The last two videos done have been terrible. You guys used to do a lot better in the video department

    • Rick LePage

      January 17, 2011 at 3:46 pm

      What do you mean, Ken? The techniques?

    • Bayla

      January 20, 2011 at 4:34 am

      I agree to a certain extent with Ken. Corey was accidentally clicking all over the place, he accidentally painted on the image, opened a dialog box by mistake, then he had to go back and add a new layer which he forgot to do before using the brush, then changed his mind about the opacity, then about the colour. Didn’t explain for quite a while why he had the ‘marching ants’ selection around the image. I didn’t feel he’d thought out what he was going to do beforehand! Lacked professionalism IMHO.

      • Sandra

        January 22, 2011 at 4:54 pm

        I see what you mean. mmmmmm!!!!!!

  2. Bonnie

    January 17, 2011 at 4:00 pm

    I like that! Very easy. Thanks.

  3. James F

    January 18, 2011 at 4:31 pm

    I like the technique and think you all do a great job with your videos. I could watch this one without logging in to the site. Thanks for all you do help us in using Elements.

  4. Lynette

    January 18, 2011 at 11:48 pm

    I am not sure what Ken didn’t like about the video but I used it to improve a photo I recently took of my aunt. I was very happy with the finished product and found Corey’s instructions quite easy to follow. I agree with James, I think all of the videos are of a high standard and very useful. For me the only thing that makes a difference is if it is on a topic of interest to the things I like doing in PSE. Thank you for making these videos for us – they have made a huge impact on how I use PSE.

  5. Ed

    January 20, 2011 at 8:48 am

    amaturish at best

    • Lee

      April 20, 2011 at 7:02 am

      The value of these video lessons is both in content AND in giving us the confidence to “think outside the box”. If you can afford a big-$, small-ƒ-stop lens and have a controlled photo environment, excellent. For the rest of us, these “amateurish” work-arounds are a god-send. Best regards.

  6. Sandra

    January 22, 2011 at 5:35 pm

    To produce a post production Bokeh effect I find this tutorial very useful, mistakes and all. I have only used Bokeh stock textures with my photos using different blend modes,opacities,adjustment layers and composites to get the Bokeh effects I want so thank you for this tutorial. You can find some great Bokeh stock effects at this site:

    Your video on Textures is useful for using the Bokeh Textures.

  7. Sandra

    January 22, 2011 at 5:39 pm

    Bokeh Photography: Why I love BOKEH!!!!!

  8. Sandra

    January 23, 2011 at 12:38 pm

    Don’t forget you can get this effect with Bokeh Brushes too!!

  9. Sandra

    January 23, 2011 at 12:50 pm

    And lastly……… A simple tutorial for using a photoshop bokeh brush.

  10. Charlotte

    February 14, 2011 at 11:24 am

    What a cool concept! i love bokeh but it is not always easy to get in certain situations.
    Thanks so much for a great tutorial!!

  11. Robert

    September 11, 2011 at 8:37 am

    This was an easy and fun tutorial. Plus I had never heard the term Bokeh before. Sure, I’ve seen those lights in backgrounds, but I never knew the effect had a name. I used Bokeh on a black and white photo. I like the outcome. And I love responses like Sandra’s above. A click on the link opened my eyes to the wide variety of Bokeh effects out there.

  12. Tracy

    February 28, 2012 at 11:00 am

    I really liked this tutorial. Very simple and easy to follow. I’d been trying to find a video tutorial on bokeh effects, but all I could find was Photoshop CS, which is very different. Thank you for posting this!!!!

  13. Laura

    May 20, 2012 at 5:57 am

    I’ve only had photoshop 10 for a few weeks and I’ve followed around 9 tutorials so far just fine… but the way he explains this is not easy to follow. way to fast and hasn’t explained a few things that he has done. I’ll try to do it none the less. but i don’t have high hopes for it, which is annoying because it looks like a cool effect.

  14. Laura

    May 26, 2012 at 7:12 pm

    for some reason it doesn’t work for me? i followed everything perfectly. but when i have chosen the brush mode, it doesn’t have a ‘normal’? can anyone help me with that please?

  15. Alfred

    April 18, 2013 at 7:14 am

    Hi Corey,
    ….I have followed many of your tutorials while trying to emulate your wisdom and expertise, and this is yet another one of your excellent views of how things can be done.. Thank you, I found it amazing and educational…now if i could only remember all the wonderful things you try to teach Ah ! Thanks Ben

  16. Charles

    April 19, 2015 at 8:06 am

    Cannot get this video to play. Open in a new window gets an error message it is not supported.

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