Honey Honey – A Look At Selective Focus Selection

Also an opportunity to discuss a little known post-production technique for photographers.

I was using a wide angle lens and too much background was in focus. What do I do? Many may not be aware but Photoshop has a select by focus function.

You can let it choose the focus area and then use Gaussian blur to defocus a zone. Only disadvantage is that a huge image such as the 36 MP image from the A7R can be back breaking for the PC.

Sometimes the auto selection if off target and you may need to trim the depth manually.

A slowed down processor can be frustrating as it is hard to fine tune, A smaller GM-1 image was manageable. A glass object is tricky for the algo and much time was spent cleaning up garbage matte leftover. Don’t do it when you are in a hurry. It is not yet a perfect solution for blurring backgrounds and it cannot be applied to all subjects. Use it sparingly.

Panasonic Lumix GM-1, ISO 200, f6.3, 1/320 sec

#farmville #cafe #sekinchan #honeylemon #lemon #drink #focus #blur #foodphotography

Fixing An Old House – Using Photoshop

Many people I know stayed with their pirated installation of Photoshop when the new cloud version became available and when it required monthly payment. I understand that but there are updates and new functionality you may have missed out.

I won’t discuss the pros and cons of the new business model but like to point out that there are some useful features that will make life easier.

1. I saw a very old wooden house in Jejarom town. Original unprocessed image in 1.

2. The first thing to do was to do a quick perspective and distortion correction to straighten and level the building since I was using a wide angle lens in 2. The result is black borders on the bottom and lower sides that may have required copping previously. I also recovered the blue sky on that flat weather day. There are some water droplets on the lens and they can be easily removed or cleaned up too, if needed.

3. Finally in 3, I needed to remove the ill fitting or out of place modern satellite dish and the lamp post. The car was removed too. It took less than 10 seconds each to remove each element. Send me your pic if you have difficulty fixing or removing unwanted elements.

Whether you like it or not, post processing knowledge is an important part of a photographer’s skills. If there is enough interest, I may conduct a practical course at a local hotel. Let me know.

Panasonc Lumix GM-1, ISO 200, f10, 1/200 sec.

#jenjarom #smalltown #selangor #documentaryphotography #lndscape #photoshop #smalltown

Is Adobe Photoshop CC 2015’s New Dehaze Made For Us?

Adobe announced a major update to its Creative Cloud subscription service last night. Photoshop CC 2014 became Photoshop CC 2015, and included with it are several useful new features.

One of the new features that caught my attention was Dehaze. I downloaded the new version immediately to try out Dehaze. Well, not as immediate as I wanted; for the update process was a bit clunky and took a while.

You have to update the Creative Cloud Services first, Then download the big install of Photoshop CC 2015 (and Lightroom). Copy all your plugins to the new folder and download, reinstall the latest Camera Raw.

Yes it can get ugly; so here’s a quick and dirty demo for those who don’t have the patience, time or a fast internet connection. Haze can now be easily removed or reduced with a simple slider in the Camera Raw Filter. It can add haze too, if desired.

As you know, Malaysia has one of the worst haze occurrences thanks to a leaky neighbour. So the true test of the Dehaze slider, for me, is whether it can fix a picture fogged up by the transboundary haze or smog.

I ran a picture from the last bad haze day which that was captured in October 2014. The original picture was photographed in RAW and I opened it directly in Photoshop.

For a different comparison, I included another picture with organic haze or mountain mist photographed at the Genting Highlands resort.

Sony Alpha a7R, ISO 100, f4, 1/800 sec (city scene)
Sony Alpha a7R, ISO 100, f7.1, 1/100 sec (mountain scene)