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i need help please

Tom Mann

Effects such as this typically are quite sensitive to the exact settings of adjustments like levels, curves, which hues are desaturated, etc., and these, in turn, depend on the scene your are photographing, the camera settings, etc., so, if it were me, I wouldn't try to automate this procedure by putting the required steps into an action. This is true of many actions that you will find on the web. If you want a good result from your efforts, there is no getting around it: You must have a good working knowledge of both the fundamental concepts of photography, AND the tools Photoshop makes available to you. This is even true if you purchase some commercial actions, and you immediately realize that you have to customize them to your images. Well, IMHO, if you can do that, you might as well just do it for yourself, right from scratch.

The general procedure I would suggest is something like this:

1) Start with an appropriate scene. I just threw some junk together so my tutorial would be be at least somewhat similar to one of the example images you posted. Frame #1 (ie, the "everything-sharp" frame) in the attached GIF animation shows what the scene looks like when photographed around f/11 (ie, large depth of field).

2) Open the aperture on your lens to at least f/2.8, hopefully wider to produce a much narrower depth-of-field. I used an 85 mm f/1.4 lens @ f/1.8. Frame #2 of the animation shows the result of this. Notice how nicely it throws the background out of focus (OOF) while preserving sharpness in the desired area.

3) Almost completely desaturate all hues except for the warm hues. Frame #3 shows this. Notice the reduced saturation of the greens and blues.

4) Finally, crush the blacks and darker tones. There are several ways to do this. I used a "Curves" adjustment layer. Also, I masked the main subject (the cup containing the pudding) from being darkened as much as the remainder of the image. Frame #4 shows this.

Unfortunately, the above approach is obviously not a "push one-button" solution, and I can guarantee you that you are not going to get as good depth-of-field effects if you try to get by with an image produced by your cell phone, even if you spend hours experimenting with Photoshop's "Lens Blur" filter and building a suitable depth map for it.

If you have any questions, don't hesitate to ask.


Tom M