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Understanding the challenges of building blur

From: Photoshop Insider Training: Enhancing Photos

Video: Understanding the challenges of building blur

Around the time that the Canon 5D Mark II first came out, everyone was doing video with this camera, they're doing really remarkable things. A good friend of mine who was shooting fashion told me that he had put a Holga lens on his; he's put a plastic camera lens on his 5D Mark II. And I was really surprised, I like the Holga, I have the 5D Mark II and I enjoy that, but I said you know, that isn't very sharp, how are you justifying a plastic lens on a high-end body like that? And he said something to me that that really surprised me and it took me back, and he said, you know, the world isn't sharp.

Understanding the challenges of building blur

Around the time that the Canon 5D Mark II first came out, everyone was doing video with this camera, they're doing really remarkable things. A good friend of mine who was shooting fashion told me that he had put a Holga lens on his; he's put a plastic camera lens on his 5D Mark II. And I was really surprised, I like the Holga, I have the 5D Mark II and I enjoy that, but I said you know, that isn't very sharp, how are you justifying a plastic lens on a high-end body like that? And he said something to me that that really surprised me and it took me back, and he said, you know, the world isn't sharp.

Our experiences in life are not always sharp. You know, whether it's a kid running into the room or street photography or a car coming by, the things that are in our periphery and the things that around us are often out of focus. And if you think about it, a lot of what you're looking at is out of focus. If I go to look at my watch, my watch is sharp, but everything around it is soft, and that's one of the reasons that when we look at a Shallow Depth of Field, which is very fashionable, when you see an image that just a little bit of is in focus, that's very pleasing to the eye, because it's very familiar.

It's how our eyes perceive the world. And so when we think about doing that in the software, which is really important, because the phones that we're using, you know the iPhone is the most used camera on the Web and it's a great little five or eight mega pixel camera. Getting that look from the iPhone is really tricky, you can do it in a little app, but not with a lot of fidelity. So it's really tough to get that Shallow Depth of Field. Doing it with a high-end Point and Shoot is pretty tricky as well. You've got these cameras that can resolve really nice RAW images, but getting that shallow depth of field is tough, and if you buy a DSLR that comes with the kit lens, more often than not that kit lens isn't fast enough to yield that soft, shallow depth of field.

And one thing that I experienced a few years back is I took a DSLR to Africa and I took a 70-200, 2.8, which is a nice fast lens that has no problem giving you that nice shallow depth of field, but I needed to reach out further with it. So I put a tele extender on it and I took it to 400. Now at 400, with the extender I'm not gathering as much light, I'm shooting at 5.6. And so I've lost that shallow depth of field, and so even if you're shooting with the best gear possible, there can still be times when it's tough to get that look.

So people fallback on software for that and prior to Photoshop CS6 that meant really understanding a lot about layers and Opacity and Blend modes and Selections and Feathering. And it was a very manual process and it could be very difficult. And so leading up to CS6, we really wanted to give people a solution to that and make that shallow depth of field look really accessible. So in the next video we'll talk about just how to do that.

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Image for Photoshop Insider Training: Enhancing Photos
Photoshop Insider Training: Enhancing Photos

31 video lessons · 12875 viewers

Bryan O'Neil Hughes
Author

 
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  1. 7m 53s
    1. Welcome
      2m 29s
    2. Using the exercise files
      42s
    3. What you need to know about Adobe Camera Raw
      4m 42s
  2. 9m 30s
    1. Reinventing the Crop tool
      5m 44s
    2. Using the new Crop tool the old way
      3m 46s
  3. 6m 4s
    1. Then versus now: Understanding how the Auto button works
      2m 55s
    2. Exploring strategies for using Auto
      3m 9s
  4. 6m 37s
    1. Using Curves
      3m 31s
    2. Exploring strategies for using Curves
      3m 6s
  5. 14m 57s
    1. Looking at sharpening
      2m 6s
    2. Understanding Smart Sharpen
      4m 41s
    3. Understanding the role of Smart Objects in a sharpening workflow
      2m 20s
    4. Applying brush-based selective sharpening
      5m 50s
  6. 9m 6s
    1. Understanding the challenges of building blur
      2m 54s
    2. Using Iris Blur to create shallow depth of field
      6m 12s
  7. 8m 20s
    1. The evolving Dodge, Burn, and Sponge tools
      6m 24s
    2. Understanding the role of the graphics tablet
      1m 56s
  8. 12m 33s
    1. Understanding and using Content-Aware Fill
      3m 16s
    2. What to do when Content-Aware Fill doesn't work
      2m 38s
    3. Beyond fill: Content-Aware Patch
      1m 16s
    4. Content-Aware Scale: The feature nobody knows about
      3m 30s
    5. Content-Aware Move: Recomposing photos
      1m 53s
  9. 3m 17s
    1. Exploring what Liquify is really used for
      3m 17s
  10. 12m 1s
    1. Correcting automatically based on lens profiles
      4m 2s
    2. Getting the most out of Adaptive Wide Angle
      4m 47s
    3. Exploring lens distortion and video
      3m 12s
  11. 7m 22s
    1. Using presets new and old
      47s
    2. Surprising yourself with the Color Look Up Adjustment layer
      2m 15s
    3. Using gradient map presets for black-and-white conversions
      2m 31s
    4. Imagining a connected Photoshop
      1m 49s
  12. 15s
    1. Goodbye
      15s

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