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Faking DOF with Adobe Photoshop

A quick tip to enhance digital images By Stephen Schleicher
Digital cameras are great, but sometimes they are just impossible to use to get a decent Depth of Field. In this quick tutorial, youll use Adobe Photoshop to tweak those digital images.

Start by opening youre image. In this exercise Im using a picture of a sunflower. I really dont want the background to have that much detail, but want the head of the sunflower to stand out.

Kansas doesn't suck that much, sometimes it offers something wonderful to take a picture with your digital camera

Use the lasso tool to draw an area around your subject. In this case, the magnetic lasso is perfect because it will snap to the edges of the sunflower petals.

Expand the selection by a desired amount. For the sunflower I expanded the selection by 30 pixels.

Invert the selection. Any filters you will apply will apply to everything by the sunflower.

If you were to apply a filter now, there would be a very harsh line between the affected and unaffected regions. Feather the selection, to blur the selected area.

Finally apply the Gaussian blur filter and adjust to your liking.

When you are finished you should end up with a nice depth of field effect and a way to make sure your subject is the center of focus in the image.

When not working deep in the labs of the DMN Central Division testing the latest and greatest software/hardware products Stephen Schleicher can be found at the local university teaching a few courses on video and web production. He can be reached at [email protected]. You can also visit him on the web at www.mindspring.com/~schleicher

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Stephen Schleicher has crossed the country several times over the last couple of years going from Kansas to Atlanta , Georgia, and Southern California. In his time traveling, he has worked as an editor, graphic designer, videographer, director, and producer on a variety of video productions ranging from small internal pieces, to large multimedia
corporate events.

Currently, Stephen shares his knowledge with students at Fort Hays State University who are studying media and web development in the Information Networking and Telecommunications department. When he is not shaping the minds of university students, Stephen continues to work on video and independent projects for State and local agencies and organizations as well as his own ongoing works.

He is also a regular contributor to Digital Producer, Creative Mac, Digital Webcast, Digital Animators, and the DV Format websites, part of the Digital Media Online network of communities (www.digitalmedianet.com), where he writes about the latest technologies, and gives tips and tricks on everything from Adobe After Effects, to Appleā??s Final Cut Pro, LightWave 3D, to shooting and lighting video.

He has a Masters Degree in Communication from Fort Hays State University in Hays, Kansas. As a forward thinker, he wrote his Thesis on how Information Islands and e-commerce would play a major role in keeping smaller communities alive. This of course was when 28.8 dialup was king and people hadnā??t even invented the word e-commerce.

And, he spends what little free time he has biking, reading, traveling around the country, and contemplating the future of digital video and its impact on our culture. You can reach him at [email protected]

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