Selective Focus And Digital Cameras

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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