Gaussian Blur, also called Gaussian smoothing, is a great filter to use on photographs where you want to smooth out imperfections in the skin, create a dreamlike appearance, or just soften the image in general. This is one of my favorite filters. I use it all the time so I thought I’d do a Gaussian Blur Photoshop tutorial so you can enjoy it too.
Step-By-Step Gaussian Blur Tutorial
If you like glowy, dreamy photographs, this filter effect is for you. Here’s how to do it:
1. Begin by opening a photograph you want to soften and smooth. Notice the one I have of the baby above.
2. At the top of your screen, go to “Layer” then “Duplicate Layer” underneath that. You won’t see any noticeable change at this point.
3. Now go to “Filter,” then, “Blur,” then “Gaussian Blur.”
4. You’ll see a little box come up with “Gaussian Blur” at the top. I set my radius to around 17-20 pixels.
You can play around with this when you get familiar with the effect. It’s the opacity in the next step that makes the biggest difference. Press “OK.”
5. Next go to your “Layers” box. See below.
Play with the opacity until the photograph has the effect you want. I left my opacity at 61% for this photograph. If it’s an adult with their eyes open, I typically leave it around 20%.
6. Now flatten your image. You can continue editing over the filter if you want. You can also save it as a psd file for future editing.
Note the difference in the before and after versions of the images below:
This is with the filter applied:
How do you soften your photographs? Have you used the Gaussian Blur before? Let me know in the comments:)