So. Before tilt-shift processing on the left and post tilt-shift on the right (duh).
The pre-shift photo is fine, I think. Just nothing super exciting but the blurring makes it so much more interesting – both in mood and visual appeal (is there a single noun that encompasses “visual appeal”? Vision? Aesthetic?)
Now, what I”m not sure is if I like it better because it is different versus the tilt-shift processing adding value.
What do you think? Better? Worse? Keep it simple and ditch the blur next time or this was a great post-processing choice?
At the request of Chris Nitz at Rav3n Studios this is how I completed the tilt-shift blur.
In Photoshop, on a duplicate layer in case you screw up….:
Enter Quickmask mode (Q)
Select the reflected gradient tool.
Click at the center of the area you want unmasked.
Drag down the the bottom edge.
You’ll have a red gradient on your image.
Hooray! You have a selection!
Access the Lens blur filter.
Set Radius to 20ish – more or less depending on what you prefer.
Set specular highlights: brightness to 10ish
Set specular highlights: threshold to 240ish. (this adds the plasticy washed out highlights)
If you’re on a 4 year MBP like me, wait some more.
Add a curves layer.
Add an anchor at the center of the line.
Drag the highlights (right side) up so you have a little bump) to blow out the highlights more.
Add a saturation layer – bump it up by 10 or so.
This makes it look even more like a model.
Also – if you blurred a layer copy, you can mask out the edges if you’d prefer a larger focal area.
You could also do this with Aperture 3.0 and the new blur brush. You just have to be better at drawing straight lines than I am.