For this tutorial, we are using a ladybug photo from the Plus Hub.
Step 1: Open your image
In Photoshop, open the image you chose to work with.
Step 2: Make a smart object layer
Right-click on top of its thumbnail and choose create smart object. This will allow you to apply filters and other modifications non-destructively and preserve the original image making the applied filters smart filters.
A small icon should appear on the bottom right portion of the thumbnail indicating that your object is now a smart object.
Step 3: Blur the background
To blur the background of your photo, go to filter > blur > gaussian blur.
And use a 15 pixel radius.
Step 4: Change the blending mode
In the bottom-right side of the thumbnail (smart filters), double-click the small icon to open the blending options window and change it to soft light.
You can also use other modes like overlay.
This is how lighten worked with our image.
And here it is when using darken.
And finally with hard light. Play around with different blending modes combinations to achieve various effects.
You can also change the opacity.
Step 5: Add more layers and effects
Duplicate your smart object (command/control + J).
Use a blending mode on the duplicate (we used hue).
And also apply a blending mode to the smart object if you want (we used luminosity).
You can achieve different results by mixing and matching blending modes.