Video: How to Fake Depth of Field in Photoshop

Sometimes, due to a lack of space available, it's possible to be unable to achieve as shallow a depth of field as you might like. The pen tool, although more time-consuming, is a far more accurate way to create paths than any of Photoshop's other tools.

This video from Phlearn shows how to fake depth of field using Photoshop's new tilt shift blur filter.

How to Fake Depth of Field in Photoshop, Phlearn

How to Fake Depth of Field in Photoshop

Before and After: capturing the you everyone remembers, Part III

When we think about other people's appearances, we're usually far more kind to them than we are to ourselves. A photo straight out of the camera can be ruthless because it's a set moment in time. Onlookers aren't having a conversation; they're studying your face at length! Blemishes and wrinkles have nowhere to hide!

In continuing the Before and After series, this post will show you the difference a little professional retouching can make. Below you'll see close ups of what you can get when you hire me as your portrait photographer.

(All photos -- both the originals and the retouching -- are the product of my own work and are copyrighted. Mouse over the photos to compare the before and after images.)


Wrinkles and Sagging skin:

Wrinkles can show a lot of personality in a face and can make for a striking photo; however, softening wrinkles is usually appreciated. If only candle light could follow us everywhere...

Sample of under-eye wrinkles retouching. (Copyright Angela Ferguson Photography 2015)

The image above shows a dramatic softening of wrinkles, yet is still very realistic. There's still texture to her skin. 

Sample of face/chin wrinkles and lipstick retouching. (Copyright Angela Ferguson Photography 2015)

The wrinkles in the above example are so slight that in person, you wouldn't even see them. 

Sample of wrinkles and skin retouching. (Copyright Angela Ferguson Photography 2015)

 Loose skin is minimized in the example above.


Acne can be a real drag, but you don't have to cancel your appointment just because of it. After becoming allergic to benzoyl peroxide, I've been dealing with adult acne flare ups on my chin. The photos below are mine and thankfully, it's finally getting under control -- except for the last 2 days -- _major_ Flare up! Not Cool!

Sample of chin and acne retouching. (Copyright Angela Ferguson Photography 2015)

Yes, indeed, that's my chin, folks! Pretty gross in the before photo, eh? I may need a glass of wine before going through with posting this for the world to see, but it's only fair that I lose my anonymity in a post like this. 

Sample of forehead and acne retouching. (Copyright Angela Ferguson Photography 2015)



Sample of crooked teeth retouching. (Copyright Angela Ferguson Photography 2015)

Crooked tooth fix, teeth whitening, and subtle lip color enhancement

Sample of teeth whitening. (Copyright Angela Ferguson Photography 2015)

Teeth whitening

Sample of hair dye color retouching. (Copyright Angela Ferguson Photography 2015)

I always recommend that you get your hair cut and/or hair dye touched up but you may be choosing to grow out your color, are pregnant and avoiding the chemicals, or other reasons that cause even the best plans to fail. 

Airbrushing has been given a bad rep for creating a beauty standard that not even the models in the magazines can attain. But airbrushing also seems to be here to stay and maybe some of us can sleep a little better at night knowing that whatever comes the day of our headshot session, doesn't have to be a permanent fixture in our photos. 

You may also be interested in: 

Before and After: capturing the you everyone remembers (Part I)

Before and After: capturing the you everyone remembers, Part II

Before and After: capturing the you everyone remembers, Part II

The original blog post Before and After: capturing the you everyone remembers, Part I I wrote got so much attention, that I thought you might enjoy seeing another before and after photo.

My Graphic Arts expertise is also one of those things that sets me apart from the sea of other photographers out there. And while I always strive for timeless, natrual looking results, sometimes when it comes to clothed glamour photography, it's nice to go a little over the top. 

This client is not only super-gorgeous all on her own as you can see in the before shot below, but also a very talented opera singer and sassy to boot! We originally met when she needed some headshots and since then, we've become friends. 



You may also be interested in: Before and After: capturing the you everyone remembers, Part I

Before and After: capturing the you everyone remembers

For the longest time, I've wanted to show before and after examples of my work but have never done so because to me, it could be a form of embarrassment to my clients. 

One day recently, however, my husband was in need of a headshot and gave me his blessing to do a before and after post.

However, before we get to the results, let's go over some facts and controversies involved in post-processing.

Fact: No one has perfect skin

Even most newborns have skin that is blotchy and imperfect and I'm not even talking about baby acne that can start as early as day 10. So basically, straight out of the womb, we're out of luck in the skin department. 

Consider all those sunburns you've ever had and all the days so far in your life that you went outside without sunscreen on?

That's a lot of sun damage we've accumulated considering in the Maryland/DC area, there are UV rays every single day of your life even when it's rainy or overcast.



"Air brushing" gets a bad rep

Because many magazine companies strive for the pinnacle of perfection, there are loads of us women who feel like we don't meet the mark of beauty.

Even with my extensive Photoshop knowledge, I have to remind myself regularly that no one can check off this level of beauty, not even the women featured in the magazines.

However, air brushing to an extent is important because extra detail can distract from what's most important in an image. No one remembers any of the blotches or blemishes on your baby except for the camera. The same can be said for yellowing teeth, dark tired eyes, or acne spots that crop up once a month or for a season in your life. 

The camera picks up on things that our brains automatically filter out. If you take out a white piece of paper at night, the paper will have a yellow, green, or blue cast to it in a photograph depending on what kind of lighting was on before white balance has been adjusted.

Yet, when we look at the paper, it appears white to us. That's because our brains quickly filter this information out. 

"Why is he pink in the before picture?"

Skin can also become more or less magenta, based on our body temperature, activities we're doing, and blood flow. We usually don't notice this, but the camera captures it. 

Striving for a happy balance

When it comes to skin and portraits, everyone can use a little help. In Photoshop, I strive for a happy balance of natural yet better looking skin, not overdone unless upon request. 

Revealing the Before and After

Place your cursor over the "after" image to see the "before" shot.

Note: Normally, my husband would have had his hair cut for just the occasion, but due to circumstances outside his control, there was no time. So I ended up recreating the tops of his ears and "trimming" his sideburns. Every so often, I like challenges like this anyways because I get to brush up on my technique. 

Notice the difference in skin tone and texture. Eyes are the focus and skin shouldn't distract. No yellowing teeth. No dark tired eyes. No chapped lips. No plastic skin. His personality shines through.