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Almost every photo can benefit from some enhancement, from exposure adjustments to cropping. In this course, author Rich Harrington shows how to improve photos using iPhoto. The course describes how to crop and straighten photos; remove red eye; improve exposure, color, and contrast; and refine images by retouching blemishes, removing noise, and adding special effects like vignettes.
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If you'd like to defocus a photo a bit, there are a few options, from effects to additional sliders. Starting with the simple effect, you'll notice that you have the ability to blur the edges, and this is often where you want the defocus to occur. This value goes up to 11, which is unusual, because most of these stop at 8 or 9. So, you can go ahead and crank that up pretty high. Coming on over to the Adjust tab, you'll also notice that you could play with things, such as De-noise.
Now, De-noise is normally used to remove detail in the image, but as you crank that up, you'll see that the image starts to get a bit dreamy. Then, follow that up, actually, with a little bit of Sharpness to bring back some of the details, and what you'll see there is that we've defocused the image, and guided the eye. I'd recommend you follow it up with some Contrast, or a Boost effect. But, in this case, we have a nice focal spot, with softer areas around. If we take a look at another image, you'll see this technique again.
In this case, I have a strong duotone type image, and defocusing the edges is going to help guide the viewer's eye towards the middle. Now, I don't want to go too far, so I'm going to back that off a bit, and do a little bit of boosting. Notice how the Boost effect, in this case, intensifies the blur. I could then Fade, and take it back. So, boosting actually intensifies the blur effect, and allows you to then be combined with Fade to get a little bit more neutral.
Again, you could play with the Sharpness slider; sometimes take that all the way down. But I find I still will use that, and instead, work with Definition. A low Definition image is going to be a bit soft, while high Definition will still bring out some of the details. In this case, I'm going to set that to a lower value, and pull the Contrast down a bit. Opening up the Exposure, if we look at the before, and the after, you'll see that focus, and depth of field has been definitely tweaked in this image.
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