One of the most compelling features of the new iPhone 7 Plus is the dual cameras that allow you to create special effects with your photos. One of those effects is bokeh, an effect that lets you focus on one part of the photo while blurring the rest of the image.
The bokeh feature is only available on the iPhone 7 Plus, not the iPhone 7 or earlier iPhone models, and works in only in portrait view. The effect can can be used on people, pets, flowers, and other objects to make them the focal point of the photo.
But bokeh isn’t available on the iPhone 7 Plus quite yet. Apple will be adding this feature in the iOS 10.1 update, due to be released later this month. But whether you don’t have an iPhone 7 Plus, or you do and you simply can’t wait for the update, you don’t need to fret.
You can add the bokeh effect to your photos no matter what phone (or camera) you have, by using PicMonkey editing tools. These tools are free to use, you don’t have to be a paid (Royale) member of PicMonkey to add this effect to your photos.
You can add this effect to any digital photo, taken on any phone or camera, in portrait or landscape view. The effect is easy to do and takes a short time, once you learn how to do it.
Adding the Blur Effect on PicMonkey
To get started, go to the PicMonkey website and upload the image you want to use. Click on the Effects icon in the toolbar (the one that looks like a magic wand).
Choose Soften in the Basics section to blur the entire photo. You will see two slider bars, Softness and Fade. You can adjust these to get the amount of blurring you want.
Adding the Focal Effect
If you want your entire photo to be blurred, you can click Apply and stop editing now. But if you want part of your image to be in focus, continue editing.
You will see a Paint window appear next to the photo.
Use this to erase the blur effect from the object you want to remain in focus. Click the Original button to turn your cursor into a virtual paint brush that will remove the blur effect. You can adjust the brush size, hardness and strength to get the optimal effect.
The brush is in the shape of a circle, but you can reduce its size to get more precise accuracy. A slider at the bottom of the screen lets you enlarge your view of the photo to help you hone in on the section of the photo you want to edit.
You can also click on the Effect button in the Paint window to add the blur effect if you’ve erased it from a section accidentally.
The Paint window also lets you use blur in the reverse effect, adding it to select parts of a photo. Click on the Reverse effect box to add the blur effect with the virtual paint brush.
You can also use the new PicMonkey app to get this effect, though not with as much control. Open the app and choose your photo.
Select Effects (the same wand icon as on the PicMonkey website), then choose the Blur filter.
Tap on the photo to have a circle appear. Within the circle the original photo will appear without the filter. You can move and adjust the size of the circle, but you don’t have as much control over the editing as you do with the PicMonkey website.
What Else You Need to Know
Don’t be confused. PicMonkey has two different editing tools that use the term “bokeh.” These don’t give you the same bokeh effect as the iPhone 7 Plus does.
You can use the Soften effect repeatedly to get a more intense blurred effect for your photo.
The iPhone 7 Plus will let you add the bokeh effect as you take the photo, which PicMonkey clearly can’t do.
Have you been wanting to use the bokeh effect on photos? Do you have any photos you would like to use this effect on? Have you tried this effect on PicMonkey?
Share your thoughts in the Comments section below!
* Smiling faces photo (edited) courtesy of Brett Davies via Flickr and Creative Commons
* Jumping image (edited) courtesy of Jakob Owens vis Unsplash and Creative Commons
HopeLine Verizon Wireless
October is Domestic Violence Awareness month and Verizon Wireless is supporting the cause by offering HopeLine Accessories. Throughout the month of October, Verizon Wireless will donate $3 to CampHOPE America for every HopeLine purple accessory purchased from Verizon.
CampHOPE America is a camping and mentoring program for children exposed to trauma caused by domestic violence.