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Alien Skin Bokeh 2

Bokeh 2 also simulates traditional fast lenses and also allows you to easily create artistic aperture shapes. Aperture Creative Aperture – Create realistic or fanciful shapes in the highlights of your photographs. Multiple Regions – Bokeh allows you combine multiple radial and planar shapes for more control over your focus region. Grain Matching – When Bokeh is applied to a grainy photo, the blurring process will remove the existing grain structure of the image.

The grain matching features allow you to replace the missing grain. Vignette Enhancements – In addition to the darkening vignetting effect, Bokeh also provides a bleaching desaturation control to remove color in the vignette area. It also has the ability to apply the vignette to an area independent of the blur area. Settings Enhancements – Bokeh comes with a slew of new factory presets to help you get great results fast. These presets are grouped into meaningful categories and you can combine presets from different groups to create your own customized effect.

Non-Destructive Editing – Bokeh supports a non-destructive workflow, making experimentation easy. But look what happens if I take the f11 image and use Gaussian Blur on the background: Figure 3. While the background is blurry, it has a very different quality from Figure 1, shot at f1. Look at the tree in the background. In the optical 1. Figure 4. Photoshop provides its own Lens Blur filter for simulating shallow depth of field. To get a software solution that accurately mimics shallow depth of field, you need to turn to a Photoshop plug-in.

It goes beyond simple blurring to create a realistic bokeh, complete with shaped, brightened highlights. Look what happens when I run Figure 2 through the Bokeh plug-in: Figure 5. Alien Skin Bokeh does an extremely accurate job of emulating an f1. Bokeh ships with presets that simulate particular lenses at specific apertures, so I processed this with the Canon 85mm f1.

As you can see, the highlights and overall softening are similar to the image shot with the real 1. In addition to overall strength — which controls how much blurring will be applied — you can also adjust the shape of the simulated aperture. Aperture shape affects whether highlights will be perfect circles or have flat sides. Boken can even change the highlights to a heart shape.

Separate controls let you alter how much boosting is applied to highlights, as well as control how those boosted areas blend into the background. In fact, Bokeh may provide more control than you need, but its sliders are simple enough that moving beyond the presets is very easy. Tricky Selections The tricky part about using Bokeh is making a selection to constrain the effects of the blurring.

Just beware that your success with Bokeh may depend on your ability to make a good selection before launching the plug-in. For example, one of the most common applications for shallow depth of field is portraiture, and portraits usually make for some of the most difficult masking chores, because of the dreaded Wispy Hair Problem WHP. In an image with a bad WHP, or other difficult masking troubles, Bokeh might be of limited use.

Bokeh provides its own linear and radial gradient selectors that solve some masking problems. Figure 6. This activatesd the radial selection tool, which basically creates a radial gradient selection: Bokeh automatically combined this radial gradient with the selection I made earlier in Photoshop. That allowed me to create a reasonably smooth transition around her hair.

You can control the size and position of the radial gradient, and you can drag the outer ellipse to control the size of the transition. Unfortunately, the radial selection tool can only be uniformly scaled. Figure 7. I solved the problem by duplicating my original layer Bokeh always places its results on a new layer , blurring it with the same settings, and then using a Layer Mask to patch the problem area.

Also, though the background looks very authentic, the overall effect is still not quite right.

Alien Skin Bokeh 2

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Bokeh’d on Montmartre I am a big fan of fast prime lenses and the ability to use a large aperture to provide a very shallow depth of field. It is a technique that provides an immediate visual distinction from an image taken with a cheaper, slower lens or small sensor camera. To me, using defocused areas in an image is in most cases, more pleasing visually than an image that is sharp throughout the entire frame. Much of the time, it is not practical to drag around large, fast lenses. Many of us may not own any. Here was a case where all I was able to bring with me was my little LX3 compact camera. We had gotten seats at field level which provided a pretty cool photo opportunity. The before and after shots: The “before” shot straight out of the camera After using the planar blur tool, it helped focus on the subjects in the foreground.

Photoshop Photo Editing – Alien Skin Bokeh 2