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Trick to make a photo look like it was shot at a very SDOF

Discussion in 'Retouching and Post Processing' started by Debbie H, Sep 3, 2008.

  1. Debbie H

    Debbie H

    Aug 23, 2007
    Hi, The reason I'm asking this question is sometimes you want a very Shallow Depth of Field but you are shooting on a very sunny day. What I have tried -

    Duplicate original file
    Use lens blur to where it is out of focus, radius # depends on the picture
    Add a black layer mask to the lens blur pic so I can see what I'm doing
    Start painting to let the blurred part show through
    When I get to the front I start lowering the opacity, gradually

    Problem that I run into- It smears and with people pics that is not a good thing!

    Any solutions on a better way??? Oh also used Gaussian blur, samething.

    Thanks so very much!!!! Debbie:smile:
  2. Debbie,

    In the book 'Skin' there is a section on this very subject. It's a couple of pages and also helps avoid the halo that can be created around a selected object. You might find the book in a larger central library (I don't know, I haven't looked.)

    This shot uses some of the techniques, which I too am working on to refine.

    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

    Also, if I recall, Uncle Frank posted something on this about two years ago.
  3. Debbie H

    Debbie H

    Aug 23, 2007

    Mark nice pic! 'Skin' I might have to see if the library has it. Maybe Frank will chime in. Thanks! Debbie:smile:
  4. Just got it off the shelf (just in case the librarian goes 'oh really?' when you ask for 'skin').

    'skin' by Lee Varis. A Practical Guide to Photographing People in the Digital Age. Published by Sybex. ISBN 0-470-04733-X www.sybex.com.
  5. Debbie H

    Debbie H

    Aug 23, 2007
    Oh Good! Thanks Mark!!
  6. Debbie H

    Debbie H

    Aug 23, 2007
    Thanks Everyone for your responses:smile:!!!
  7. Wileec

    Wileec Guest

    Depends on the subject and background . . .

    . . . but sometimes you can duplicate the shot - hit it with a blur, then place a layer mask over the blurred layer with a gradient, so that the transition from sharp to blur is more natural. A copy of the image is on top of this with the background masked out and the elements desired to be sharp visible. You have to be careful on the edges on this layer - sometimes I'll go over edges with a 20 or 30 percent opacity to make sure I'm getting a natural aliased edge between the subject and background layers, but it's all done on the layer masks. It's a lot easier to get it right in the camera, but I've used this technique a few times on both indoor and outdoor shots and it works well and when executed well can be very realistic.
  8. Debbie H

    Debbie H

    Aug 23, 2007

    I will have to try that. I haven't worked with the gradient tool very much, but I do kind of understand. Thanks! Debbie
  9. Hi All,

    Just found this thread and have not looked at all of your ideas yet, but thought I would point to Jason Cole's tutorial. I found Jason on another forum and find his pictures are excellent. Whilst I am not into glamour photography I have used this technique for portraits many times:


    Hope it helps.


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