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.
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.
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.
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: