Join Bryan O'Neil Hughes for an in-depth discussion in this video Understanding the challenges of building blur, part of Photoshop Insider Training: Enhancing Photos.
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.
The course begins with an exploration of Photoshop features that make changes to an entire image: the Crop tool, the Auto button that's present in many adjustment dialog boxes, and the Curves panel options. Next, Bryan explores sharpness and blur. Each has its place in a photograph, and Bryan details how the sharpening and blur features work and how to get the most out of them.
The course also looks at adjusting specific areas of an image with the Dodge, Burn, and Sponge tools, and at the growing array of content-aware features in Photoshop, showing how they work and what to do when they don't work. The course concludes with a tour of the powerful Liquify filter, features for correcting lens distortion, and the world of presets that allow you to apply settings with a single click.
- Reinventing the Crop tool
- Rediscovering the Auto button
- Getting the most out of curves
- Understanding Smart Sharpen
- Building blur and softness
- Working with a graphics tablet
- Using Content-Aware Fill, Scale, and Move effectively
- Correcting distortion automatically based on lens profiles
- Using presets