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Achieving this effect in PS

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  • Achieving this effect in PS

    Hi all... I am a graphite/charcoal artist who is moving from hyper-realism to impressionism in my work. I would like to modify some of my reference photos to achieve the effect seen in the two attached photos...particularly the narrowing of extremities (i.e. legs, arms). I have spoken to a photographer friend who states this is achieved by manually adjusting focus closer to the photographer than the subject.

    In PS, I have tried various blurs, etc but not quite gotten the look and have decided to tap into the collective knowledge here. If you have thoughts on how to re-produce the effect, I would appreciate specific steps/parameters as I have struggled with this.

    Thanks!
    Attached Files

  • #2
    Re: Achieving this effect in PS

    Originally posted by grahiteartists View Post

    In PS, I have tried various blurs, etc but not quite gotten the look and have decided to tap into the collective knowledge here. If you have thoughts on how to re-produce the effect, I would appreciate specific steps/parameters as I have struggled with this.

    Thanks!
    In PS you may need more than just a blur tool.

    This effect is dependent on the camera model (type and shape of the shutter), focal length of the lens, distance to the subject, focal point for the exposure, and the size of the aperture, combined with the overall exposure and the brightness of the background compared to the subject (contrast).

    You'll note that the legs in both example images are lighter than the body and blend into the light background behind them, but the darker body retains more of its weight. This effect will never be exactly the same when any of the conditions mentioned above change, as in the two example images - the side view is much more scrunched than the back view.

    This is a quick adjustment with the Lens Blur tool - see images.
    Attached Files
    Last edited by Shoku; 04-10-2017, 05:20 PM. Reason: added photos

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    • #3
      Re: Achieving this effect in PS

      Thank you Shoku for taking your time to provide examples. I had come across an article about Lens Blur and had wondered if this was a more appropriate approach but wasn't clear on how to start with settings. I will do some experimenting.

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      • #4
        Re: Achieving this effect in PS

        I recognize the photographic style: high contrast and unsharp. No idea how successfully you can simulate this using sharper photos but I'm thinkinh
        - High contrast B&W?
        - Erase background details
        - Gaussian Blur
        - Partially erase edges of limbs and bodies

        Just eyeball it, I think.

        Mike

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