I really liked Lisa Gordon’s tip on selective focusing when shooting macro images that she shared with us in Photography Advice Worth Remembering. Her tip on minimum distance is brilliant and gives that “true macro” look to her images. I guess I was subconsciously thinking about it ever since I first read the tip because this morning, as I was waiting at the traffic light thinking of nothing else but Starbucks, it dawned on me – you could do that in Photoshop! …and naturally I decided to share my idea with you. This tips also includes a tiny tutorial on working with layers and masking.
Of course, getting this look in camera is always a better idea. However, if you do not have a macro lens or if you have a few older photos that you’d like to edit in this manner, here’s how you could do it in Photoshop:
1. Open and edit your photo the way you would normally edit it, including sharpening.
2. Duplicate that layer (Command/Ctrl + J) and make sure the top layer is selected and that you’re working with that layer now
3. Go to Filters and select Blur > Lens Blur. Lens Blur window will open.
4. Increase the following numbers: Radius, Blade Curvature, and Rotation until you get that perfect blur you’re after. Hit OK or Enter to go back to the main Photoshop dashboard.
5. Now you have two layers open. The bottom one is the regular image, edited and sharpened. The top layer is the blurred image. Select the top (blurred) layer. Note: To see your Layers menu (if you don’t see it), simply hit F7 on your keyboard (both PC and Mac) and it will pop-up.
6. Hit the masking icon at the bottom of the layers menu (circled red in the photo below, next to “Start”).
7. Now you got a white mask next to your blurred layer. Note: Click on it to make sure the mask is selected and that you’re working with the mask, and not the image (icon on the left).
8. Now go to your brushes and select a soft brush.
9. Make sure your foreground color is set to black (you can do this by pressing letter “D”on your keyboard).
10. Using a brush, paint the part of the blurred image that you would like to be sharp. What this does is that it allows the bottom sharpened layer to peek underneath the blurred layer. Paint as much or as little of the blurred image to show the sharp part.
11. Optional: In case you painted too much of the blurred image and too much of sharpened image is showing, simply switch the foreground color to white (simply press “X” on your keyboard to switch background and foreground colors). Now paint off the part you would like to correct and make blurred again. This is very useful around edges.
What do you think? Could it pass as a wanna-be-macro photo?
It’s Time to Share Your Food Photos Here at Crisp PhotoWorks!
Please, feel welcome to link your food and beverages shots to Food Photography. The rules are simple:
1. Make your photograph about food or beverages.
2. Tell us about that photograph: share a photo tip, recipe, or a story behind it.
3. Submit the URL to your food photo post or a specific Flickr image, NOT your home page or album URL.
4. Please, include a link back to my blog in your post or Flickr image description. You can grab the button below or use a text link. Note: Linked photos without the backlink will be removed.
5. Visit bloggers on your left and your right and leave some comment love.