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Image editing tutorial - Soft focus

Step 3: Make a new layer

Almost everything in photo editing is easier with layers, so we’ll turn this picture into one. In the Layer menu, roll down to New and select Layer from Background. This promotes the background into a layer that can be moved around and edited.

Step 4: Duplicate the layer

The effect we’re going to produce needs two identical layers to start with, so go back to the Layer menu and click on Duplicate Layer. You can re-name it if you want to, but there’s really no need.

Step 5: Change the opacity of the top layer

Now for the clever part. On the right of the screen you’ll see the layers palette, with your two layers shown as ‘Layer 0’ and ‘Layer 0 copy’, with the latter above the former and highlighted in blue as the active layer. If it isn’t highlighted, click on it to activate that layer. At the top of the palette you’ll see a box for opacity, with a drop-down slider. Click on this and move the slider down to about 65 percent opacity. This means that the bottom layer is visible through the top layer, although since they’re both identical at the moment it’s impossible to tell.

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