Retro Bokeh Effect

Following these few simple steps will allow you to add a retro feel to any photograph. The first step is choosing the picture. This is the one I decided to use

Before adding the Bokeh effect to the photo I adjusted the levels and curves just to make the image look a little better.

After adjusting the levels I added another layer.  On this layer I added a few red brush strokes to the sides of the image.  When doing this step it is important to use a soft brush. The placement of the brush strokes is pretty much up to you, but the entire layer shouldn’t be a solid color.


After adding the red brush strokes change the blending option of the layer to color dodge. Your image should look somewhat similar  to this.


Next you should add another layer that will be the same as the previous layer created except the color of the brush stroke will be a different color. For my photo I used yellow. Although yellow and red work nice with the effect any color can be used. This is what your image should look similar to after adding the second color layer and changing the blending option to color dodge.

The next step is to add a white highlight to the center of the picture. This should be done by adding an additional layer and with the same brush as used in the previous steps adding a few white brush strokes to the center of the picture. After doing this change the blending option to overlay.


The next step requires the use of the Bokeh Brushes. If you do not already have Bokeh Brushes in your Photoshop they can be downloaded here.

Add another layer on top of your existing layers. With the the Bokeh brush and a white color add a few brush strokes. How much you add during this step is up to you. After getting the desired effect change the layers blending option to overlay.


For the next step select the layer with the original picture. In this step you will add “light” to your picture. Go to filters->render-> lens flare. Chose the 35mm prime option. The placement and intensity can be adjusted to your liking. After I completed these steps I ended up with this look.


This is O.K, but I felt like the red and yellow layers were to intense so I decided to go back to these layers and reduce the opacity to 28. This is my final result.bokeh

-Aisha Hughes

~ by aih4 on February 4, 2013.

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