Tutorial: Recreate the bokeh effect using Photoshop
Half a decade ago we went on an evening walk where we shot some photos. Unfortunately a lot of the pictures are out of focus and/or the exposure is wrong. The camera I used at the time was good, but not good enough: for example the view screen was small and the camera had a lot of noise at high ISO levels. I didn’t have a tripod either, but the main problem was (and I’ll honestly admit this) that my photographic skills at the time just weren’t good enough to capture the photos the way I pictured them in my mind.
My friend said that he always used Photomatix Pro for his HDR-photos, so I decided to try it out. Normally I use Photoshop for all my image editing and occasionally Adobe Lightroom. I decided to make 4 different versions of the same 3 bracketed photos and post one of the original photos, so that you (and I) can compare.
I’m new to Photomarix Pro, so the result probably looks different from it would if I were familiar with the software. First the original photo and at the end there’s a gallery for easy maneuvering:
Do you sharpen up your images in Photoshop? Perhaps you use one of the preset sharpen methods you find under the filter menu? (filter – sharpen).
Very often these presets are just exactly what you’ll need to enhance your photo, but sometimes you want to/need to have more control over the process. In this tutorial I’ll show you how to sharpen your image in just a few small steps using the High Pass filter.
The photo I’ve used in this tutorial is a scan from film. The star of the photo, the penguin, was captured on a trip to Cape Town, South Africa.
- Open your photo and copy the original layer (ctrl+j)
- On the copied layer, choose the high pass filter (filter – other + high pass) (illustration 01)
By default the radius is set to 10 pixels, which should be suitable. Click OK.
- Change the blending mode for the layer. Set it to Hard Light (illustration 02)
- Play around with the opacity of the layer until you’re satisfied with the result.
- If needed you can also add a Brightness/Contrast Layer, but this depends entirely on your photo.
Click on the gallery to see the process:
I’ve played around with this truck before, but felt like trying out some new stuff.
Here’s the previous version:
He was bland, he was boring, he was lazy. So I had to frisk him up a little.
The original file was a .jpg file that I opened as .raw in Photoshop. I turned down the exposure by -0,65, added a lot of contrast and some clarity. Then I used the lens vignette filter and sat the slider to about -15 to center the focus a little. When I was pleased with the settings I opened the file.
The first thing I always do after opening a file is to make a copy of the layer. Make sure you never work on the original. I changed the settings in the HDR toning (Image – adjustments – hdr toning). After having done that I was still not satisfied, so I added a tiny touch of lens blur effect and then a saturation layer for the eyes.
I’ve had the same Gravatar for a while now, so I figured out it was time to make a new one.
Here’s some of my old ones. As you can see they all play with the same theme:
Three versions of the same one:
I wasn’t satisfied with this burning head, so I never used it as a gravatar:
Trivia: The English word “skull” is probably derived from Old Norse “skalli” meaning bald, while the Latin word cranium comes from the Greek root κρανίον (kranion). (Wikipedia)
Here’s one more: http://artishorseshit.wordpress.com/2013/01/07/the-cardinal/
I decided to try out Silver Efex for this black& white photo. Normally I use Photoshop for my editing, but Jeff mentioned Silver Efex and then I suddenly remembered that I have a version installed. I’m not so familiar with the S.Efex software, so I can only do basic stuff, but it’s quite easy to maneuver and the GUI is user-friendly.
In my opinion both the results are pleasing and Silver Efex was easy to use (even for a Photoshopper like myself).
I chose a photo that I shot in the botanical garden here in Oslo. The color version has been edited in Photoshop and the only thing I did was to add some vignette using the raw file.
For the B/W version I changed the structure and contrast in Silver Efex Pro, then I Used Photoshop to add a brightness/contrast layer and a small touch of vignette with the Lens correction filter.
Now I’ll try to catch up on some commenting and blog reading
On this photo I’ve added some layers in photoshop:
- 2 x color balance
- layer with black
Edit: Brightened it up a bit for Rose Dayjo
Here’s a quick scan & restore of another old family photo. I followed the same recipe like before, but I also added a levels layer for the car color & a brightness/contrast layer for the windshield. I believe the car is a 1970′s Ford Transit.
If you want the full tutorial on how to restore your old photos, follow this link:
Mixed technique: digital drawing / Photoshop. The street is called Storgata and it’s in Oslo.
It’s a rather boring street and there’s nothing exciting going on there. Sometime around the end of the 1990′s this street held an illegal nightclub that was open all night, but after a while the police closed it down. That’s all I have to say about this drawing and this street. If you have anything to add that I haven’t already mentioned: feel free to write a comment.
EDIT: Decided to add the original photo.
Just watched episode 310 on Kelbytv.com and picked up this awesome technique. If you’re into Photoshop I recommend that you check them out in one of their channels. These tips are not only for advanced photoshoppers – Kelbytv.com makes sure to incorporate easy tips & tricks as well.
To see how I made this picture, check out the program and you might learn something new as well. I promise you: it’s an easy technique.
You can also watch it on YouTube.
The second track on David Bowie’s 1969 album Space Oddity.
“Unwashed and Somewhat Slightly Dazed” reflected a strong Bob Dylan influence, with its harmonica, edgy guitar sound and snarling vocal. (Wikipedia)
Here’s a wallpaper that I’ve made for you from a photo I shot at the harbour in Tel Aviv.
The size is 1920 x 1080 pixels. It’s shot with a Canon 600D. EF 24-105mm lens. Enjoy!
- Tel Aviv Night Shot Cityscape (cardinalguzman.wordpress.com)
- Mall Reflections (cardinalguzman.wordpress.com)
- Street Photo from Israel 04-09 (cardinalguzman.wordpress.com)
- Tel Aviv Street Art 01 (cardinalguzman.wordpress.com)
- Street Photo from Israel 02 (cardinalguzman.wordpress.com)
- Tel Aviv Night Shot – Wallpaper 1920 x 1080 (cardinalguzman.wordpress.com)
- Photos of an evening in Tel Aviv
- Random pictures of Tel Aviv
- a night like this in Tel Aviv
Alex Jangle is a Norwegian DJ that’s playing & producing house music: a genre of electronic dance music that originated in Chicago in the early 1980s. Within this genre Mr. Jangle is, according to himself, playing “deep house, tech house, deep tech, etc, etc”.
Guess we’ll have to find other means of transportation this summer, because this truck doesn’t seem to be going anywhere any longer…
This is a detailed tutorial with screenshots. Many of you probably have old photos lying in a drawer or shoebox.
The first thing you should do if you intend to digitize these images, is to clean the surface of the images before scanning them. It’ll save you a lot of post-processing later. For this tutorial I’ve scanned a typical summer photo and I’ll restore the photo using Photoshop.
I’ve started to restore some old family photos that I’ve scanned. The saturation is corrupted in some of the images, many of them have scratches and some are discolored. A few of them even suffer from all of the above!
It can be time-consuming to scan your old photos, especially if the photos are very damaged and you want to restore them. I was working on this photo last night and here’s a very short summary of what I did with this photo:
I got this idea that I should take some photos of seagulls. On saturday I went to the fish market and bought trout that we ate for dinner and when I cleaned the fish I decided to save the waste, so that I could use it to bribe the seagulls.
Even if I had baksheesh (Baksheesh – a term used to describe tipping, charitable giving, and certain forms of political corruption and bribery in the Middle East and South Asia.) the seagulls didn’t seem to like the fact that I was hanging around after having left the baksheesh as bait: Those ungrateful bastards were flipping and turning in the air, which left me with a whole bunch of useless photos that could have been perfect for the latest WordPress “Unfocused – Weekly Photo Challenge“.
I shot this photo two years ago, but I wasn’t pleased with the result so I had to take it to my digital darkroom. (Digital “darkroom” is the hardware, software and techniques used in digital photography that replace the darkroom equivalents, such as enlarging, cropping, dodging and burning, as well as processes that don’t have a film equivalent. – Wikipedia).
Here’s the result: