photoshop creative

How can you strengthen a focal point?

Posted in:
Q&A, by Mark White
November 24, 2016

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One of the best ways to strengthen a focal point is to de-emphasise the surrounding area. If the target layer is not already a Smart Object, right-click it and choose Convert to Smart Object. Go to Filter>Blur>Gaussian Blur and play with the Radius until you get the desired amount. Click OK. In the Smart Filter mask, paint black in the focal area to remove the blurring there. Apply a Black & White adjustment layer, then paint black in the mask over the focal area to restore color. Apply a Levels adjustment layer, move the shadows and midtones to the right to darken. Paint black in the mask over the centre to keep the focal area from getting darkened.

Now that the surrounding area is relegated to a supporting role, you can target the focal area with Levels and Vibrance adjustment layers to brighten and make it more vibrant.