Digital Work Flow pt.1 Tutorial


Digital Work flow Part 2

Continued from Part I- Initial Backup and Sharpening (Review Part 1)

In part one we discussed corrective sharpening and color compensation. In this installment of Digital Work Flow we will discuss some of the ways of working with your images from a more creative aspect. There are literally 1000s of ways to manipulate images in Photoshop it would be impractical to cover more than a few features here, so I have selected 3 effects that many photographers create by adjusting what and how the camera sees a subject. First we will cover how the camera creates the effect then how to recreate the effect in Photoshop.

Effect 1 - Depth of Field or Distance Blur.
In the camera, the f-stop controls the amount of light that enters the lens and the depth of field (DOF). The lower the f-stop number the shorter the DOF. By carefully controlling DOF a subject can be accented in the image by causing closer and further objects to soften and become less distinct.

Photoshop can create the same effect with the masking tools and the Gaussian Blur filter. For this discussion, download the reference photo. Lets pretend that this is the client's father and this is was only close up that could be taken. This photo was taken in a hurry, poorly composed and shot with the automatic settings of the camera (please note, this is a lower resolution example photo, as always, the better the photo the better the result). Now lets see if we can salvage this shot into something our patron would be willing to pay for. Digital Work Flow Part 1 has already been applied to the image.

1) Open in he image in Photoshop and duplicate the background layer.
2) On the new layer with your choice of mask tool, isolate the subject from the background.
3) Invert the selection and delete the selected background. De-select all pixels. At this point you should see the background from the layer below with only the subject overlayed on a seperate layer.
4) Select the background layer and create a quick mask. Use the gradient tool ( colors set to white and black) to create a gradient mask from the top to about 4/5th of the way to the bottom. This will cause the filter to be less effective in the area closer to the subject near the area of best focus. Switch out of quick mask to make the result a selection. You should see the marching dotted line. For information on the quick mask tool click here (opens in new window).
5) Apply the Gaussian Blur filter with about 5 pixels. Flatten the image and do a "save as"
See result here.





Michael S Richter © 2000 - 2011 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED