Saturday, February 07, 2009

Getting selective Focus – PS Tutor

Many of my friends keep asking how I get selective focus. One way is it get a low depth of field (DOF) by using broader aperture. Broader aperture indicates smaller F Number. This is while capturing the image. Please read more about apertures and DOF in this link .

In this post I will try to explain simple post processing steps in Photoshop to get selective focus.

Objective: Get Selective Focus

Idea: Idea is very simple. Focused area of the image has more sharpness and remaining area would be less sharper. Human eyes tend to see sharper objects. So we can use this technique to cheat human eye to simulate shallow DOF during PP


Step 1: Open the image you want to Post Process (PP) in Photoshop (PS). You can see in this image  DOF is not that shallow.

Duplicate the layer. Always do this step in PS as practice. You will not lose the actual image, if anything goes wrong later.

Step 2: Select quick  selection tool (W) to select the area you want to focus. In case, you want to spend more time in precisely selecting the area, you can do in multiple stages. You can unselect by holding Alt key. You can also save the selection using the Menu – Select  - Save Selection and provide a name. Note, this is the key step in this Workflow.

Step 3: Increase the brightness of the area of interest. As this is selected, only selected area will be brighten up, also increase the sharpness of the selected region using Smart Sharpen





Step 4: We are done with area of interest. Now we need to concentrate on Negative space. To select negative space, invert the selection


Step 5: Now blurr the negative space and reduce the brightness, so that eye does not really catch that area  first.


Step 6: Final Image, which shows a shallow DOF. – OR – Selective Focusing

From Windows Live Writer

We can also use Motion blur instead of Gaussian Blur in case of object is moving. You can see an example