March 31, 2009

This Week's Photoshop: Image Focus

Photos with great effects really makes our jaw drop. we would think the photographer used a high tech camera with very good lens.

We would think that with these cameras, they can take crisper, sharper images. But today,with the help of Adobe Photoshop, we can turn our ordinary pictures into jaw-dropping ones, like one of those photos we admire.

One of the popular phot effect used today is focus enhancement, in which the photo backgroud is defocused, so that it draws attention to the portrait. Today I will share you five simple steps on how to apply this effect into your image.

I will use a photo of one of my favorite Filipina singer, Liezel Garcia(credits to LiezelGarcia Online, thanks guys!). And now, for the first step!

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STEP ONE: Open your image in Photoshop. In the Cahnnels panel, Option-click the Create New Channel icon.
In the new channel dialog that pops up, name your channel, click on the Selected Areas to set Color Indicates, then click OK.
Next,click the empty checkbox to the left of the RGB channel to see the image through the mask.

STEP TWO: Press D to set the Foreground and Background color to default(black and white). Choose Brush tool(B) and select a soft brush from the
Brush Preset Picker in the Options bar, and
paint over your subject. As you can see, I used the brush to paint that red color over Liezel. The painted area will
be the one to remain focused. You can adjust the brush size using Right and Left bracket keys.

STEP THREE: After painting, return to Layers panel. Duplicate your image(Background Layer) by pressing(Ctrl-J), and then choose Blur>Lens Blur from the Filter menu.

STEP FOUR: In the Lens Blur dialog, go to the Depth Map section, and click on the Source drop-down menu and choo
se the channel you created.

STEP FIVE: Allow the filter to update and study the effect before adjusting any additional sliders. If too much of the image
is blurred, it is best to Cancel and return to the Alpha Channel. This way, you can paint in black to protect more of the image or with white to
subtract from the channel. Then reapply the Lens Blur to continue.

And you're done! Simply follow these steps to achieve the in-focus effect for your image, without using any high tech camera equipment!

Photo Credit: Liezel Garcia Online
Additional Source: Photoshop User