Create a Dreamy/Foggy Photo

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When working on our last tutorial, Adding an Illustrated Look to your Photos, I stumbled across a super easy way to add a dreamy/foggy look to your images. Best part is you can do this in as little as 3 clicks. That's right, not steps but clicks!

Click 1:
Duplicate Layer

Duplicate your image on a new layer by selecting your background layer and then press Command on Mac, Ctrl on PC and the letter "J".

Click 2:
Gaussian Blur

Next apply a Gaussian Blur by going to Filter/Blur/Gaussian Blur. Set the blur to a high enough value that you get a really blurred image.

Click 3:
Lower Opacity

All you need to do now is bring down the opacity of the blurred layer. I like to use 80% as a good starting point. If the effect is too much I'll bring the opacity down more.

Final Result:

With 3 simple clicks you can add a nice dreamy look to your photos. You might need to play around with the opacity of the blurred layer but that's what Photoshop is all about, playing around and having fun with your work. Read below for some extra touches that you can add to this effect.


Extra Touchs:

Bring Back Details:

Especially on images of people, you might need to bring back some detail into their face. Do this by adding a layer mask to your blurred layer, then select your brush tool and set it's opacity 15%. Next, bring your brush's Hardness all the way down to 0.

Now just paint black onto your layer mask and you will gradually bring back those details to your image.

Playing with Blend Modes:

Try setting the blend mode of your blurred layer to something other then Normal. This can give you some really interesting results. I like how the Screen blend mode looks with this effect. It brightens up your image in a much softer and nicer way then if you just copied your image and set the copy to screen. And it makes sense because blurring the image makes everything much softer.

Create a Foggy Effect:

Try applying this effect to a darker image (preferably one with some fog or haze in it already), and it will be seen as more of a foggy effect then a dreamy one. Perfect for all your upcoming Halloween imagery.

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