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Simulating lens blur with the Iris Blur and Tilt-Shift filters


Photo Workshop: Portrait of an Exotic Car

with Bryan O'Neil Hughes

Video: Simulating lens blur with the Iris Blur and Tilt-Shift filters

Simulating lens blur with the Iris Blur and Tilt-Shift filters provides you with in-depth training on Photography. Taught by Bryan O'Neil Hughes as part of the Photo Workshop: Portrait of an Exotic Car
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Watch the Online Video Course Photo Workshop: Portrait of an Exotic Car
Video Duration: 4m 54s1h 20m Appropriate for all Jun 18, 2012

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Bryan O'Neil Hughes is a photographer, a car buff, and the senior product manager for Photoshop. In Photo Workshop: Portrait of an Exotic Car, these passions combine at a workshop hosted by and Adobe Systems.

In the first portion of the course, Bryan photographs a carefully lit Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG and shares tips for photographing cars. He shows how to evaluate the lines of the vehicle and compose shots for the greatest dramatic effect. Along the way, he employs a variety of lenses and shooting techniques, from macro to high dynamic range.

Next, Bryan guides the workshop's attendees through his Lightroom and Photoshop workflow. He shares insider tips on how to take advantage of the features in Photoshop CS6, such as the revamped Crop tool, the Iris Blur and Tilt-Shift filters, the Content-Aware Move tool, and video editing tools.

Photoshop Lightroom
Bryan O'Neil Hughes

Simulating lens blur with the Iris Blur and Tilt-Shift filters

Few more things I want to show you guys, and then I'll open it up to some questions. So, with this next one, and I could probably do this with a car shot, but I'm used to showing it with this one, so this I'll show it. Okay, so I want to do a shallow depth of field of this. I shot this image in Kenya in 2007, and I was using a fast lens, I was using a 70-200 2.8, but I was using it with a Tele-Extender, so it was no longer a 2.8 lens, it was more like a 5.6 lens. So I couldn't get a shallow depth of field as I wanted.

Now the same scenario could very easily happen in there taking pictures of the car. With the example of shooting low and shooting up and wanting the background to be blurry, you might want a more shallow Depth of Field than you can get. Someone came up to me with a G-Series Canon and with the most we're able to open it up to was like f4 at that particular zoom. It wasn't enough. You were still going to see the soft box above and the rigging and all of that, and it just wasn't going to work out. We needed like, we needed a 2.8 lens, we needed a nice soft Boca, so that you couldn't tell what the background was.

So what we can do now, I don't know if you guys have ever try to introduce lens blur in software, it's not easy. It requires a lot of selections, a lot of masking, a lot of time. And so we wanted to make it really easy and really powerful. So the way it works in CS6 is we come in here to what's call Iris Blur and the image is the preview. And we drop this little pin, right this little thing right here drops on the image. I'm going to dismiss the interface. This is so easy to use, you don't need an interface. The way it works no selections, no masks, I just pulled that little dial-up, and I get my blur, okay.

Now the outer pins are the effect at full strength and the inner pins are where it starts, and so I pull in the inner pins, and that's where the effect starts. Now if I Option-click I can move them independently, okay. No selections, no masking, with tricks up my sleeve, okay. I pull this down here, and now this is where I'll back my blur down. I did that just to get an idea what I'm looking at, but that's more what I was after.

Now I can also do things that are photographically impossible. I can bring that bird that can focus in the left. I'm just going to drop an additional pin on that, and now he's going to pop. He--I don't know why I always assume the bird's a guy. She is going to be in focus. So there I have something I couldn't even do before photographically. You could have 10 people on a wedding, and you could take the people right down the line and have certain people in focus and other people out of focus. We don't want that, right? Not naming names or anything, you could exert your own bias.

For you power users, if you hit the M key, you'll see that we're actually building a mask as we go. So, if you want to take that information about the blur and push it out, you can just save mask to channel and use that mask when you come out of there and play around with that, so there is a lot of power there. With the next one, there's three new blurs, there is Iris Blur, there's Tilt-Shift, and there is Field Blur, which is like a Graduated blur. So I'm going to show you the other one Tilt-Shift, and I joke that this is for the three people who haven't bought Lens Babies yet in the world, but there are--there are lot of people that want this aesthetic, and the Lensbaby is cool, but there is not so much control that you have in the lens not to mention the lens itself, you know it's an all right lens, but you can come in here, and you can play around with that same effect on an image really quickly and easily.

All right, so here's our angle, put that where I want. I can grab different portions of this, and it uses that same control that I had before. I want to blur that, I just did this. Now I don't talk about the future of what we're working on very much, but you can tell that we've on screen interactions, we're looking at a world where people are used to doing this sort of thing on screen, right? It's just making it easier and even if you're putting a cursor there it feels little more tactile than coming over here and adjusting something that's here.

So, those are the controls for that. I'll actually show you that this is where I like to use the adjustments over here for the Boca. So if I want to intensify the color or the light I can come over here, and I can have a lot of control over the blurred area and how that's showing through. When I show this to fashion photographers they loved using this for backdrops. Blurring the whole thing and just coming up with a really cool colorful soft backdrop. As before you've a mask for that, that you can send out of there, and as before you can drop multiple pins in there as well.

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