What is Bokeh?
Bokeh is the aesthetic quality of the out of focus, blurred parts of a photograph. The exact shape and characteristics of this effect is determined by the lens used when taking the photo, but you can artificially achieve a similar effect using photoshop and a texture layer to give your photos some extra character.
If you're looking for an easy way to add some bokeh textures to your next project, then here are some completely free textures for you to use, along with a simple tutorial on how you can use them in your image editing.
Free Bokeh Textures
How To Use Bokeh Textures
So how do you actually use these when you're editing an image? Well, first of all we're going to need a photograph and a texture to work with. For this example, I'm using this stock photo I found on Pexels and one of my own textures that you can find above.
You'll need to import these images in to photoshop. Then you'll simply need to set the layer blending mode of the texture layer to 'Screen'
The result should look something like this.
This looks okay as it is, but you wouldn't normally have the bokeh effect on the subject of your photograph since that should be in focus!
So next we're going to trace around the parts of the photograph that are in focus using the polygonal lasso tool (or the magic wand tool if you're feeling lazy) and remove that section from the texture layer. This keeps the main subject of your image clear and you should end up with something like this.
And we're done. Easy!