In this post, I talked about bokeh, and it's beauty. There are many ways of acheiving the look, you can either create a mask for your lens to create it physically or use photoshop brushes. Well, regular point and shoot cameras like mine won't accept a lens nor work in that capacity, and I dont have photoshop, so I decided to create my own... for free.
I used Urban Pink's Palm tree bokeh style, in that it focused on a stream of light around the trees for the inspiration of this photo.
My husband took this beautiful picture on a lovely October day in 2009 from our 3rd floor balcony. We joked with our toddler how we lived in the trees because all of our windows were surrounded by leaves.
First, I uploaded this photo to Picnik. I cropped it, brightened the exposure a bit and that was it for prepping the photo.
Second, I went to "create", then "stickers". I choose the heart sticker under "basic shapes" for this photo. (Click on photos to zoom)
I made one heart in the desired opacity, size and color, then simply duplicated it about 25 times. You duplicate by right clicking on the image and chosing "duplicate". After that, I duplicated another heart in a different color and kept going. I have a pink, orange, yellow, teal and white. I would probably go with less colors next time, but I wanted full impact since this is a tutorial. With a few hearts, I went back and made the opacity a little less and some a little stronger.
I now continued to spread my hearts around. Remember, they need to clump and overlap in places. I started with a central point and went out from their in thinning tangents for a natural distribution feel.
There isn't much more you can do to the bokeh hearts at this point, because they are only stickers. So any effects you do on the photo won't apply to them. So, save your photo under a working name and close this one out.
We now are going to work on making those hearts glow and softening their edges. I first went to "create", then "effects" and used a bit of "ortonish" to enhance the overall color of the picture and the hearts.
Then, I went to "soft focus" and put it on it's strongest setting. When you do this, it softens the whole photo, which is not what I want. So, I go to the tool box that appears and choose my brush size and strength. I take me tool (the circle) and simply erase where I don't want the softening. I erase it from the trees and on some of the hearts so that not all hearts are totally softened.
After that is complete. I save it and go on to "boost". This is what is going to add that glow! I adjust it and save.
After the glow, the softening and color is perfect! BUT, some of the defintion in those lovely clouds on the right is lost. So, I go over to "touch up" and choose my trusty "mascara" wand. I use this tool all the time to bring back definition. I just go over the clouds, the tree line and a few select hearts.
While still under the "touch up" tab, even though some hearts are softer, I would like to blur some of the edges a tad more. So I go to "air brush" make a small wand and air brush some of the heart lines.
Now, I go back to the "effects" tab, then to "vingette", and add a soft layer of black. It really adds more depth to the photo and brings the focus where I want it to go.
So, maybe I went a little overkill with the hearts, but this was just an excersize and my first time as I documented my process as I went. I decided to play with sizes and lessen the cloud of hearts, remove the orange ones and make more clumpings.... and I love it!
I added a few faded white circles to the corners in the larger hearts for some depth. I also removed the "vingette" and the "boost" was bright and beautiful, but I added some "gritty" to the photo to add some character, lessen the brightness and make it more like a dream.