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Creating Lens Blur Effects with Focal Point 2

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Photoshop expert Dan Moughamian demonstrates how Focal Point 2 helps photographers to draw attention to the most important parts of their image, by carefully blurring other parts of the shot.
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Perfect Photo Suite 6 from onOne Software provides a wide range of photo editing functionality, including specialized tasks like pixel-accurate image enlargement, and simulating camera bokeh to selectively blur backgrounds or other photo elements. For this article, we’ll take a look not only at ways of customizing the “bokeh look,” but also creating the illusion of a scene “in miniature.”

Evaluating the Original Photograph

After you’ve processed your photo in ACR or Lightroom and opened it into Photoshop, look the picture over carefully. Do the composition, detail, and colors in the shot lend themselves to simulated lens blurring? For this shot (Figure 1), we have a nice late afternoon scene that combines interesting geology with plenty of detail and a sense of depth. There is also a good range of colors. Detail and color are important factors when creating simulated bokeh and lens blur effects.

Figure 1 This image provides a good foundation for Focal Point 2 because it has fine detail at varying depths and it has a good color range.

Ideally you should use a shot that has good detail both in the foreground and middle ground, and has some darker details in the background; these can ultimately serve as contrast for the “bokeh highlights.” It’s worth noting that sometimes, the bokeh effects can be difficult to see in brightly lit shots, especially if the background is relatively uniform in color and texture.

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