Creating a Feathered Edge Effect with Adobe PhotoShop

Occasionally, you might need a feathered edge effect on a photograph. The feathered edge allows an image to blend in to the project rather than stand out as a predominant feature.

* This is a fictitious company. Don't try calling them.  Besides, the sandy beaches of Porpoise Bay, Saskatchewan are already too crowded!

Feathered Edge Effect:


This is the photograph that I have chosen for this example. The vintage house will become part of a logo for a fictitious real-estate company.

Before I do the feathered edge I have to eliminate the power line that cuts across the photo.  I will be cropping the image anyway, so the sidewalk on the right, and the cars to the left aren't a concern.

It may be necessary to duplicate the image layer, delete the original locked layer, and work with the new duplicated layer.

Fig. 1


Choose the Clone Stamp tool from the Tools Palette. The Clone Stamp tool allows you to replace any area of the image with a selection from elsewhere on the image. In other words, I am going to cover up the power line with the sky that is adjacent to it.

Click while holding down the Alt Key to grab a selection of the replacement color. Hold down the mouse button to paint over the problem area.

Fig. 2


You can do some 'fine-tuning' with the Blur and Smudge tools, but since I'm only going to be using a small part of this photo, the Clone stamping is sufficient in this example.

Fig. 3


Right-click the Marquee Tool and select either the Rectangular or Elliptical Marquee Tool. Click and drag a marquee around the part of the image you want.

Fig. 4


To adjust the shape and location of the Marquee go to Select --> Transform Selection. You can move it around the image with the arrow keys.

Fig. 5


With the Marquee selected got to Select --> Feather. You might have to experiment with the pixel setting. I chose 30 pixels as the Feather Radius.

Fig. 6


The next step is to turn the Marquee selection into a Mask.  In the Layers Window click on the Add a mask button. If you don't see the Layers Window go to Window --> Show Layers on the top menu bar.

Fig. 7


When you save the finished image  you may find that you have an excessive amount of space surrounding the feathered image. You can either crop the image, or decrease the canvas size before you save the final image. Be careful that you don't crop any of the feathered pixels near the edges of the image.

Fig. 8


If the image is being placed on a white background you can go to File --> Save As... and choose jpg, bmp, etc.  If you want to preserve the transparent background got to Help --> Export Transparent Image and follow the steps to export as either a gif image or png image.

Fig. 9


Here is the end result.

Fig. 10