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Old Nov 20, 2004, 9:49 AM   #11
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geoffs wrote:
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(1... 2... 3... Invert the selection.)
4. Add a layer mask that reveals the selection on the background copy layer.
5. Apply the Lens Blur filter to this layer using the Layer Mask as the depth map source.
Being a Photoshop Elements user, I once again have PS envy. We can create something of a layer mask, but it requires a few steps. Unfortunately we don't have the lens blur filter. We have the regular Gaussian and Motion blurs, but I recently read an article mocking our feeble attempts to mimic lens blur. (Not really mocking, just saying it's not possible in Elements) And what the heck is a "depth map source"?

That being said, it sounds like you really understand the process for creating a very effective artistic presentation here. Very methodical.

Can anyone translate this portion of Geoff's intructions to Elements-friendly commands?

Regards, Tom, on Point Pelee, Canada
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Old Nov 20, 2004, 5:54 PM   #12
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very nice picture, geoffs
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Old Nov 21, 2004, 12:59 AM   #13
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Eric, John, Amy - thanks for dropping in, looking at my photo and leaving a comment! Much appreciated!

Since people have mentioned that they would like to see what this would look like if more of the shofar was visible, well... I just happen to have a version that shows that. Tell me which one you like better...



Also, Eric, could you elaborate on the other technique for isolating BG from FG? I'm not quite sure what you were saying...

Tom - the lens blur filter in PS is much more elaborate than just using gaussian blur but gaussian blur will still do a credible job. Try it out in Elements and I think you'll agree. Don't worry about what "depth map source" is because it's just an option in the Lens Blur filter's dialog.
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Old Nov 21, 2004, 1:38 AM   #14
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Wow, love the framing and the DOF.
Really great shot.
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Old Nov 21, 2004, 9:24 AM   #15
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Thanks, Frank! It means alot to me to have such an accomplished photographer of people, as you are,to compliment my work!
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Old Nov 21, 2004, 10:03 AM   #16
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Thanks for supplying the second picture. I now know which I like better.

The first one. The shofar draws my eyes away from the girl and her expression/posture. What you want (ok, what I think you/someone wants in this picture) is a connection between her and her father. I feel my eyes going from him up & away as it follows the shape of the shofar. Before, my eyes went directly to her and then to her dad, and then (maybe) to the shofar (wondering what it was, not really following it.)

The trick I'm talking about goes like this. You can take the same picture with two different focal lengths. If you move closer to the subject when using the shorter focal length, you can place things in very similar places in the picture. But they won't be the same picture because of how the optics effects the picture.

Really short focal lengths seem to elongate the distance between the subject and the camera, and it effects DOF.

If you use a really long focal length it will compress the DOF, and make it seem like there is more separation between the subjects and the background.

I have always assumed this is because of the smaller DOF, but I truly don't know what causes the effect.

Eric
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Old Nov 21, 2004, 12:26 PM   #17
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Eric, thanks for replying back. It is really (really!) interesting to see how a particular photo and a variant of it touches one person one way and another person in a different way. Like you, I had the same gut feel that the picture with less of the shofar visible had more impact and served to focus the attention where I thought it should be- on the girl. Then, on another popular photography website that both you and I frequent, I had all the opposite reactions and they wanted to see all of the shofar because they said they had no clue what the dad was doing; for all they knew he was swallowing a snake!

I guess it means that perhaps I should retain both versions and if I am ever able to market this, have both variations available for both types of people!

Thanks for explaining the DOF thingie. I guess I am going to have to do a few experiments to really get a feel for how things are affected by focal length. I don't know why I can't seem to grasp this by just thinking about it but it just doesn't seem to be intuitively obvious to me. I'll get back to you on this...
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Old Nov 21, 2004, 8:31 PM   #18
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hey guys!

thanks for posting eric

i had mentioned in an email to geoff about this picture, that he should keep both, because not EVERYONE will like the full shofar shot better.

thanks for proving my theory

also, thanks for providing your reasons for liking the other one better

it helps the learning process (mine if not geoffs )

Vito
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Old Nov 22, 2004, 10:21 AM   #19
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Oh, I wanted to see more of the Shofar... I wondered what it was (I assumed an instrument of some kind.) so I was in the same boat.

but once I saw the shot I knew photographicly (to me) it didn't work as well. I found I wasn't looking at her.

Keep them both, they are good photographic conversation pieces.

glad to write it out... it helped me think about it all too.

Eric
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