Creative Focus Control


Adobe® Photoshop®: Creative Explorations, Lighting Effects & More


Lesson Info

Creative Focus Control

Let's, talk about changing focus in a picture and just changing the overall tonality as well. There's, a couple different time, thinks we can use their sometimes I want to force somebody to concentrate on a particular area of my photograph. Here's, a photograph that I took just a couple weeks ago. This is in the area called the police, which is near spokane, washington. And if ugo to a certain area there, when the sun is about to go down, you get these great shadows. And on lee, where the sun is really hitting, does your focus go and let's say that I want to force you to look mohr at one particular area in this image and ignore the rest? Well, I'm gonna first convert this to a smart filter or smart object so that any change that I make to it is not permanent. Then I'm going to go to the filter menu, and if I go down to blur, there are a few choices in here. There's tilt in shift there's, irish blur and there's field blur. When I choose one of those like let's, say tilt shift, it will b...

ring me into one dialogue box that actually has all three filters in it. If you look field blur, iris blur till shift, all it did was turn on that specific checkbox so it's not like those three filters that I had read off the names of taking two separate dialog boxes, they all take you to the exact same place, and it simply turns on one of these three check boxes, depending on what filter you've chosen I'm working with till shift with this, we have a little pin in the middle, a little god that I could click on and drag somewhere within my image and that's going to control what is in focus within my file. So I'm gonna put it right there that's where I want your attention too go then just outside of that pin is a little wheel like thing that I could grab it if I click there and drag it's going to control how blurry the rest of the photograph becomes, not the area where the pin is that's what's going to stay and smooth focus instead, we're going to bring this in control. How blurry will arrest the image become? The main thing I would do in this particular case is try to make it where it's not distracting that I'm blurring the rest of the picture because it could easily make it so that people think, oh, in photocopy, blurred this stuff instead of possibly doing it in camera, where it was due to the aperture setting on my camera so anyway I could bring us down either blurred a little bit or bring it out and blow it quite a bit. I'm going teo bring it up a good amount just so you khun see where it's blurry uh all type command h to hide those controls you could just see the image itself and let's turn the previa check box off so you can see before and after you see how that bottom portion is is uh getting soft it's a little bit harder to tell but the top portion of the photograph right near the edge of the photo is also softening. If I type command h a second time it'll bring those areas back where I can see the controls for it and let's see what else we can do in here we do have some controls I can come in here and if I click on these little dots the two little circles that will rotate this so if I needed this to be an angle instead of being straight I could do so for this particular image though I think it looks better when it's straight but that's what the little circles do. If I move away from those little circular dots and move out here I can grab the line itself to control how wide open area is in crisp focus from many here to exactly up to there I can expand or contract that then I could move my mouth onto these dash lines to say, how far does it take for this thing ends up becoming completely blurry where beyond the edge of this line is really blurred, whereas the transition is in between the dashed line solid one and I could do that on each one of these. Control them separately if I want to, but a tilt shift blur ends up doing it in a straight kind of fashion. And this if you happen to do it to something like a cityscape, you're going to find that oftentimes it's going to make it feel like it's a model if you've ever seen a picture of a city and it looked fake but not faking away were it was literally fake, but it looks more like it's a model. It looks like somebody came up with the camera really close to really intricate model. This can give you that sense. I believe the reason why it can give you that feeling is whenever you magnify something, you end up getting less and less and less depth of field with your camera. And so the more you magnify things, the less depth of field you get and so your brain is used to like when you look through a microscope. You have the little focus control the microscope there's only the tiniest little slice of that microscope that is going to be in focus and it goes out of focus everywhere else really fast abruptly your brain just gets used to the fact that if anything's folk shot really up close where it's been magnified that it ends up going and getting soft everywhere else and so if you do this to something that was shot with a wide angle lens where it's really shot from far away uh and you apply this it can give your brain the sense that it might look like a little model you're mainly going to notice that though when you have a lot of detail throughout the whole image and that's why it works great with cityscapes where you see buildings in the foreground and such that your brain would usually say if you're getting that wide of a view those are always in focus with wide angle lens and when it sees them getting soft it thinks that might look like a model so anyway that was tilt shift if I turn off the checkbox for tilt shift that will no longer be applied to my image and I could come up here and use something else this one is called iris blurred and with it I have a little center piece that I could move around in that same little wheel that controls how blurry is this thing gonna bleed but in this case instead of blurring the area where this little circle is it is blurring everything else everything outside of the circle and all I did was turn off the checkbox called till shift and I turned on the checkbox called iris blur or if I knew I wanted this effect in the first place let me click cancel here miss c five a different picture here we have one here I have a huge picture and I don't know how much I can do up on it but there's one place I want you to focus within it that's my wife karen and their who's furiously working behind the scenes document thinks in this huge panorama this is about one hundred eighty degrees again in the pollutes this isn't the highest resolution picture so I continue zooming up it's not going to get any sharper but I would take this and first convert for smart filters so that whatever I applies not permanent then I can come in here to filter, choose blur and choose iris blur and we start off with this I can tell it exactly how much of the photograph so I want to be in sharp focus I just click on the little pin that's here in the middle and I might put it so it's centered on karen and then I have a bunch of little controls the small little dots that air here that little tiny circles are for rotation if you click on those you could rotate this I'll choose on dukes I don't want to rotate it uh a little ring again controls how blurry is it going to get out in that outer portion? And then I can also grab the larger dots to control the transition. How soft of a transition, how abrupt is it going to be? The further I bring this in the softer it it's going to be the more space it's going to take up when it ends up doing it's blurring hopes if you click a second time somewhere it's gonna add another one of these and what I might simply do is make it so we have this area where karen is and make it sharp it's just the rest of the photograph I might come in if I bring the blur down just barely blur it a blur of maybe even too on this because it's a low resolution photograph ah, but by doing so, I can get your focus to beam or in that particular area and you can add as many of these little circles as you want just by moving your mouse to other areas in clicking to get other areas and focus you can cause them to overlap is well in all that to really control it a little bit more in sometimes when I end up applying things like vignettes to darken the edges of photographs to get your concentration towards the middle of the federal. Also add one of these blurs. I just try to do it it's such a subtle setting where you wouldn't notice in this particular image of blurred a little bit more. Uh, where if you go out here, it does start getting pretty soft compared to when I choose on do if you look in the left side. But it is something that would allow me to get somebody's focused. Look in one particular spot here we were in the tulip festival, uh, what's this called wooden tree. I think there's something like that till a festival in oregon convert for smart filters. And just remember, when you choose any of these it's sending you to the exact same spot, he doesn't really matter which one you choose it's just a matter of, um, with this afterwards, I could go over and decide what to use with some of these. You can put them in and just click in another spot in, turn it down in the other spots so you can end up just saying one spot of my photograph should be in focus this spot over here where I move a different one of these should be out of focus. And move them around to control exactly what you're getting. So if I want the area in the background, I can click again. Get mohr less in focus. Here. I'll do this with less subtlety. Just so you, khun, obviously see where the blurry areas are like that, uh, although that's just what happens. So if you, uh, dial it up too high and just keep adding them until you really get the control you want. So if I wanted your focus to be in this area and the only difference I would do in a real photograph is used lower settings. But with this one, if you only have one of these controls on your image, you're pretty much working on the whole thing. It's. Only when you add up more than one by moving your mouse away from one and clicking on your image again that you confined, tune them in with this. If you want to find tune the others later, just click on the little pin that's in the center of each one, and then you confined to knit, either using the slaughter in the upper right for blurring. Bring it all the way down if you want it to stay sharp or using the little ring around each area, but if you only have one of these on your image it's going to be affecting the whole, uh, picture it's when you add multiple that you can really get a more fine tuned look as to where you might blur things, if you click. Okay, remember, if this is on a smart object, this is something where you can always go back and change it later. Just double click on the woods generically, notas blur gallery it's, called blur gallery, because it incorporates all three of the blur's, and you can turn on more than one of these if you want. So I might have these turned on at a very subtle turned down setting, with barely blurring the image at all. And then I might add one of the others, like my tilt shift or something else. Uh, two. Further, maybe make this background go out of focus, so I just need to turn on the tilt shift choice.

Class Description

Part of the Complete Photoshop Mastery Bundle.

Explore the creative side of Adobe® Photoshop®. Take a walk down the filter menu and learn what's lurking in the not-so-obvious filters like Displacement Maps and Lighting Effects. See how the simple text and shape tools can be taken to the next level by incorporating layer styles, clipping masks and more.

  • Learn which filters have a special relationship with the Adobe® Photoshop® Blending Modes, which allows for unexpectedly creative results
  • See how puppet warping and layer masks will allow you to make a single layer look as if it's intertwined around another layer
  • Start to use Adobe® Photoshop® 3D features to add dimension to otherwise flat imagery
  • Create animated slide shows that better keep your viewer's attention
  • Add texture to your images to give them more personality
  • Software Used: Adobe Photoshop CC 14.0



    This is the second class on PS filters that I've taken with Ben Willmore. He is handsdown a fabulous teacher and one I highly recommend. I purchased both classes and I feel that for the price, they are worth their weight in gold. I applied his PS filter techniques to some of my surface pattern designs that were created using my original artwork and I've received great comments. So I owe a great deal of gratitude to CL and to Ben Wilmore for giving me the opportunity to grow my PS knowledge and to apply it with confidence to my artwork. Thank you!

    a Creativelive Student

    well I would recommend it sort of. I think much of the chapters show you how to use things without giving good examples or reasons such as with the brushes part. The photo on the cover is never worked on or really any of the topics didn't talk about how to achieve that look. I did learn some things as I have a lot to learn. I have been using the textures with great success. He does a nice job of explaining...I just don;t think we saw enough start to finish work.

    a Creativelive Student

    Fantastic tutor and course content! Ben Willmore truly is a master of Photoshop and has the ability to teach all aspects of Photoshop in such and easy-to-understand manner. Thanks so much for making Photoshop so much more understandable. Highly recommended.