Someone asked me if I could show how to blur the background without using the quick mask method. I most certainly can and I thought I would sneak it in on the tail of the photoshop series instead of putting it somewhere else, so today is a rare Sunday post. I am sharing this technique using PSE today, it can be done in any photoshop program, and possibly even GIMP (the free PS type program) although I haven’t tried it in GIMP. So I started with this picture above. The background is a little blurred but we can blur it more.

Start by selecting new layer, but this time you are going to duplicate layer. 

See the two layers open on the right hand side? I make the bottom layer (original pic) hidden by clicking the little eye next to the picture. Then with the eraser tool I erase what I want to stay in focus. So in this case my daughter, and I include the bubble wand in her hand. Since the bottom layer is hidden you will see it erase to nothing. 

Then I make the bottom layer visible again and while the top layer is still selected I select, “filter” then “blur” then “gaussian blur” then blur the background to your liking.

Then flatten the image and you can tweak anything else you want with your now blurred background. Easy right?
Now go get fancy with your photos!