Softening a Photo with Bokeh 2 (by AlienSkin)

Last winter, I did a bit of backyard bird photography. Attached here is one of those images, where the bird looks quite good, but the background is distracting. As this was shot from my kitchen window, there was nothing I could do about the background (except maybe hang an artificial backdrop in the background trees

original image - shot with a MFT 45-200 zoom at f/8

original image – shot with a MFT 45-200 zoom at f/8

Perhaps the background would be less distracting if the depth of focus was more shallow.  A wider aperture might do the trick. This image was shot at f/8.  The widest aperture on the lens is f/5.6.

Enter … a software filter called Bokeh2, by Alien Skin.  The term ‘bokeh’ refers to the characteristics of an out-of-focus lens.  Some lenses have a more visually appealing bokeh than others.  The Bokeh 2 software simulates the bokeh effect and includes several presets that emulate specific lenses.  So here is an edited version of the image, using Bokeh 2 to simulate an aperature of f/2.8 to soften the background and make it a bit less distracting.

Background softened using Bokeh 2

Background softened using Bokeh 2

Although this does not entirely remedy the distracting background, it does reduce the distraction by softening it.  You might achieve a similar effect with a basic Gaussian Blur filter, but Bokeh 2 aims to simulate characteristics of real lenses.  This would be very significant if the background here had specular highlights, as real optical bokeh has a different effect than simple blur.

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One Response to Softening a Photo with Bokeh 2 (by AlienSkin)

  1. Pingback: Oil Painting Effect on a Photograph | Kevin Davis Photography

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