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Thread: Focus Magic or other voodoo?

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    Focus Magic or other voodoo?

    someone mentioned the program above in an M thread here and i was willing to give it a go but it doesn't work on my mac...

    here's the deal: i was playing around with the 75 Lux, wide open, whilst my brother and his kids were playing in the pool. it was all for practice in focus and speed, and i really didn't expect to get anything good which is why i was at f/1.4.

    one pic stunned me on the screen and my brother, a poet, has been desperately searching for a photo that can be used on a site, mag, or even book cover. i had perfect focus on his eyes closer up but shot this as he turned around -- knowing full well it wasn't in focus and had no time to do so. like i said, i was messing around! unfortunately, i made the mistake of showing him it on the screen and he has his heart set on it.

    i know there are no miracles -- this is clearly out of focus -- but i was wondering if anybody feels like tackling the original DNG to see if they can get anything that may be acceptable. remember, he's a poet, so there is the whole artistic license thing.... i have tried various ways and failed miserably. if anyone wants a stab at it, i would be greatly beholden.

    here is just the basic JPEG straight out of camera. i have the DNG available for anybody who may be a closet magician....


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    Administrator Bob's Avatar
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    Re: Focus Magic or other voodoo?

    Tough one,
    How about some other voodoo?
    Attachment 17915
    -bob

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    Re: Focus Magic or other voodoo?

    thank you, Bob!

    i know it's asking the impossible but thought i'd ask anyways

    when i said book cover above, i meant the jacket (i.e., a smaller author photo). you fun rendition would only work as a cover and he'd never use that.

    sigh.

    (my own fault for shooting wide open, but it really was only for practice. i do the same with pigeons here in Paris.)

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    Re: Focus Magic or other voodoo?

    Always better to work with the RAW, but I'm lazy. This is some minor adjustment to contrast and some mild targeted sharpening. There's some blotchiness in the skin tone but that could be smoothed out I'm sure. The direction I was heading was to add some depth and pull his face out of the water just a bit. Eyes and mouth can be defined (never sharpened alas) with some careful burning/darkening.

    This is a quick deally and I'm not a pro, but I think you could make it into something. It has a dreamy quality to it. Whether the publisher will accept it is another story.

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    Re: Focus Magic or other voodoo?

    thank you, Hot Stuff

    you did give me an idea.... i quite like the muted dreaminess of the original background (water) but would like the face/body to perhaps be more stark -- which would help define it. or maybe the other way around.... (the blotchiness of the face and the hair on his body (my family men are quite hirsute) need to be mellowed whichever way i go.)

    damn! it figures that all the perfectly focused pics were duds!

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    Subscriber Member TRSmith's Avatar
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    Re: Focus Magic or other voodoo?

    The water is nice. Except for the little semi-vertical details to the left of his face. I find those a bit distracting and would probably blur them out even more. Good luck with it!

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    Re: Focus Magic or other voodoo?

    As Tim's with reduced blochiness
    Attachment 17918
    -bob

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    Re: Focus Magic or other voodoo?

    OK Don't shoot me or Hate Me Cam, (Dearest)

    but I somehow don't see this Photograph as a great promo shot for an authors
    back cover pix / or really for a 'Poet'.... (to my eye its needs to be more Beat or Bohemian for a Poet)

    Your work is usually exceptional & has an artsy flair....& I do LOVE it
    but to me this shot does not make it......


    Is it really worth the effort to salvage ? .
    Shoot it again / Different takes and Different Styles of your Handsome,Talented Brother.
    Best- Helen
    Last edited by helenhill; 16th June 2009 at 16:50.

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    Re: Focus Magic or other voodoo?

    Quote Originally Posted by cam View Post
    unfortunately, i made the mistake of showing him it on the screen and he has his heart set on it.
    Suppose the blurriness is what he likes about it...?

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    Re: Focus Magic or other voodoo?

    Helen -- no offense taken.

    the thing is, he really likes it, and it does look much nicer at a smaller size. the M8 screen can be very deceptive... as for taking another, i can't. we're an ocean apart. nor was i ever trying to take his book jacket pic in the first place. i was just playing around....

    you reminded me, though, i might have another one that is more artsy, taken at the reception for his limited edition book.... time to troll through the photos. (i was shooting with the Nocti before i knew it had problems and think there are a few that might work....

    Ranger9, probably so.... but i think he liked the dreaminess of the background and how he seemed to be coming out of it. then again, the blur probably helped. digital cams can be so brutal....

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    Re: Focus Magic or other voodoo?

    Cam, often book jacket pics are vertical or square. not horizontal. How is this going to look cropped if they go that route? Part of the appeal of the image is due to the space in front of him (left side of image). Just a consideration.

    Here is a reworking from Bob's jpeg. Too many artifacts now but if he is intent on using it you might be able to salvage something. Will the publisher go for it?


    Attachment 17946

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    Re: Focus Magic or other voodoo?

    It's easy to get seduced by sharpness and focus if you've spent years and thousands of dollars pursuing it. But it's rare for someone to love a picture of themselves. I say trust his instincts and provide an alternative as a backup.

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    Re: Focus Magic or other voodoo?

    Quote Originally Posted by TRSmith View Post
    It's easy to get seduced by sharpness and focus if you've spent years and thousands of dollars pursuing it. But it's rare for someone to love a picture of themselves. I say trust his instincts and provide an alternative as a backup.
    I agree with Tim here.

    Another variation, for kicks:

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