How to Create Blur Edges in Photoshop

Written by brian richards
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You can make photographs more interesting by adding a unique border. Borders with blurred edges will help to emphasise the subject of the photo, ease the transition between the photo and other elements on a page and provide a visual appeal. Though feathering the edges of a photograph will remove some of the periphery detail of the image, the technique is ideal for landscape and portrait photos that would benefit from drawing the eye to the centre of the photograph.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • Photoshop
  • Image

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  1. 1

    Open the photograph to which you want to add a blurred edge by clicking on "File" in the Photoshop menu bar and choosing "Open". Search for the image file in the window, highlight it and then click "Open".

  2. 2

    Choose a selection tool that matches the border you wish to make. For instance, if you want to make a standard rectangular border, choose the "Rectangular Marquee Tool"; for a circular border, use the "Elliptical Marquee Tool"; for an irregular border, such as one around the subject's profile, pick the "Lasso Tool".

  3. 3

    Create a selection around the subject of your photo or the central area of the photo by clicking and dragging the mouse until the entire area is selected.

  4. 4

    Open the "Select" menu and choose "Inverse" to invert your selection (select the border rather than the subject). Alternatively, use the shortcut key "Shift+Ctrl+I" on a Windows PC or "Shift+Cmd+I" on Mac OS X.

  5. 5

    Open the "Select" menu and choose "Modify" and then "Feather". The radius you use in the feather menu will determine the blur in your edges. A feather setting of between 5 and 15 will produce a soft, gradual blur.

  6. 6

    Press the "Delete" key to delete the border and leave behind a blurred edge. The initial background will likely make it appear as if the photograph blurs into white at the edges, but this colour can be changed by using the "Paint Bucket" tool on the background layer.

Tips and warnings

  • To make the blur even more visually appealing, use options under the "Filter" menu on your border selection. With these options, you can make a jagged blurry border, gradual textured gradients or a glowing feathered blur.
  • The change you are making is destructive, meaning it permanently altered the pixels of the image. If you want to retain a copy of the photograph without blurred edges, do not overwrite the original image file. If you overwrite the file, there will be no way to undo the blurred edges effect you added.

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