Tuesday, September 24, 2013
Controlling Blur Effects
Guide the viewer through your images by controlling sharpness
|This Article Features Photo Zoom|
5) Screen Blend Mode
Applying blurring effects selectively adds more magic to the mix. By adding layer masks to blurred layers, you can apply any of these effects nonuniformly and even customize the effect for select areas. Set each layer to the maximum opacity desired and then use a layer mask to reduce the effect further in other regions using a soft-edged black brush (vary the opacity, as necessary) or a gradient (Linear, Reflected and Radial are the three most useful gradients). You can make a case for keeping each layer at 100% opacity and reducing the effect globally and/or locally with a layer mask.
6) Lighten and Screen
Like double-pass sharpening, it's entirely possible to perform double-pass blurring, applying first one blur filter and then applying another filter on top of the already blurred image, which will create an entirely new effect. Double-pass blurring is less flexible and so more challenging to test and resolve. It's more than likely that you'll have more than enough control with the hybrid blurring provided by multilayer techniques using multi-pass techniques sparingly.
Before masking shadows or highlights, consider using a layer's Blend If sliders; double-clicking a layer will activate the Layer Styles window and allow you to access them. By moving the sliders of This Layer, you can remove the blurred effect selectively based on tonal values in the image. Split each slider (hold the Alt/Option key) to feather transitions.
7) Final image
With blurring and sharpening techniques, in addition to modifying the mood of an image, you can prioritize some image elements over others, and control the course and speed the eye will take while exploring an image, deflecting attention and quickening the flow of the eye in softer image areas and drawing attention to and arresting the flow of the eye in sharper image areas.
You can be the conductor that orchestrates the quality of details and their relationships in your images. And you have extraordinary control, the likes of which haven't been seen in the medium of photography—until now. Seize the day.
John Paul Caponigro, author of Adobe Photoshop Master Class and the DVD series R/Evolution, is an internationally renowned fine artist, an authority on digital printing, and a respected lecturer and workshop leader. Get access to a wealth of online resources with his free ennews Insights at www.johnpaulcaponigro.com.
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