Photoshop is a lifesaver for digital camera users eager to apply selective focus techniques because digital camera lenses inherently provide much more depth-of-field for a given field of view than a conventional film camera.
The depth-of-field bonus of digital cameras comes from the relatively short focal length lenses they use. The maximum "telephoto" setting of a typical non-SLR digital camera may be 32mm (producing the same field of view as a 150mm lens on a 35mm camera). However, the depth-of-field provided by the digital camera at that setting is much closer to that of a wide-angle lens than to a telephoto lens. As a result, it may be very difficult to use selective focus with a digital camera, unless you're taking a picture very, very close to your subject. Photoshop CS can fix that!
Photoshop added a new Lens Blur filter which debuted in the first CS version, with lots of amazing options. First, I'll explain how to apply selective focus the old-fashioned way, useful for versions prior to Photoshop CS. Figure 2.47 is a digital camera picture of a kitten, taken at close range. The background is already fairly blurry, but it's still distracting and we can do better. For this image, I used the Quick Mask mode we've already deployed several times in this chapter, and painted a selection that included only the cat, taking special care around the edges of the feline.
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Although we usually tend to think of the digital camera as the best thing since sliced bread, there are both pros and cons with its use. Nothing is available on the market that does not have both a good and a bad side, but the key is to weigh the good against the bad in order to come up with the best of both worlds.