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Workshops and Tutorials - Image Editing

Teaching Philosophy

Adding Fog


Changing Day to Night

Complicated Merging

Digital Depth-of-Field

Fixing Exposure Diversities

Digital Infrared


Merging Images

Making Smoke

Making Snow


Digital Depth-of-Field

This series of images is a good example of how most digital cameras record images using the automatic setting. They work to keep everything in the scene in sharp focus. This is a good idea unless you want a specific area to pop out and be more pronounced than another. I actually prefer to shoot this way, knowing that I can change the image depth-of-field in Photoshop. I could have forced this shallow depth-of-field shot in the camera.


The original with only an exposure adjustment done.



In this image I blurred out the background to show a separation distance between the close rock formation and the plateau that extends two miles into the distance.


The second layer up from the bottom is a duplicate of the background and has a Gaussian blur filter effect added to it. I mask out the areas I wish to remain sharp. Black on a mask removes the effect from the layer.

When on location, I sometimes take several shots of the same scene. One shot is an extreme close-up with the camera position quite close to the foreground subject. The second shot is focused on the background. I merge the two in Photoshop and remove different areas using masks. I also use this effect when there is great diversity in the exposures. The image below clearly shows the effects from manipulating depth-of-field in a shot. I added it to the same file above.



It is impossible to know the scale of a scene, especially scenes like the ones I shot in Utah, which have enormously vast areas. In the top left quadrant, I added a small figure on the closely focused rock formation to add scale to the image, better seen below.


Layer two holds the figure.


I darkened the bottom part of the foreground rock.


The top layer is a dodge-and-burn layer
that allows me to fine-tune the density
of any area on an image.



Original boot shot
Second shot for forced depth-of-field.


Added layer with drop shadow effect.


Final boot shot with human figure removed.

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