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03-27-2015, 11:42 AM   #1
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An Attempt to Salvage an Out-of-focus Shot

My son is 9 months old. He's very wobbly as he leans against things, but that's all he wants to do these days. I shot what I thought was a great portrait the other day, only to discover - once I'd put the ugly plastic fence back in our living room and pulled all the toys back out - that it was OOF (out-of-focus). I was shooting with the FA 43/1.9 at f/1.9, which I know means a very thin depth-of-field, but I got lots of other shots during that session that were in great focus, but some other component was missing (his eyes were half-closed, there was no connection with the camera, etc, etc). So I decided to try to salvage this one in Lightroom.

I played with the white balance to make it a lot bluer, then tweaked each slider in the "camera calibration" part at the bottom to exaggerate the relationships between different colors. I adjusted, well, just about everything. I think that the outcome looks more like a dated film shot, and somehow the not sharp focus is forgivable.

What do you guys think? Worth the effort? Would you have gone a different way with it? I had a black-and-white version that I liked quite a bit as well.

Original:


Post-Processed Shot:


03-27-2015, 11:54 AM   #2
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Sadly correcting focus is not possible.
03-27-2015, 11:57 AM   #3
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Try using the spot correction tool in lightroom or the oval thing, where you can select his face for specific editing. Then increasing contrast and clarity might help create the distinction from the blur of the rest of the image.
03-27-2015, 11:58 AM   #4
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I like that reworked image a LOT, Keitha, especially what you did with his eyes. He looks so "wise" and inquisitive at the same time - just delightful. The focus is not something you can do anything about, but that old 1920s/30s look may be a close approximation of what an image from that time might have looked like anyway. Brighten it up a bit more, maybe, but otherwise you've created a memorable shot and a keeper with less than ideal material to begin with.

03-27-2015, 11:59 AM   #5
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I'd keep the original version. If you can't fix it then flaunt it. You have a soft portrait to accentuate his youth and beauty. Play with the colors. Desaturate the shot. Try B&W even and lower the contrast.

You could try applying a huge amount of sharpening, definition, and contrast but I don't think you'll be satisfied with the result.
03-27-2015, 12:02 PM   #6
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That's an adorable picture. The PP did help with the eyes, and it's a cool effect. Only thing I would suggest is some tweaking to take the mottled look out of the arms and center of the forehead. Maybe reduce darks & contrast a bit? I'm sure others here know more about that than I do. I bet the b&w version looks good. When I've tried to save OOF shots before, I've worked with the sharpening & contrast in PP, and if that wasn't enough, sometimes converting to b&w saves it.
03-27-2015, 12:02 PM   #7
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The grungy look in the processed image does a good job of hiding the focus issue, but it's so grungy that he looks like he just finished a 12 hour shift in a coal mine
03-27-2015, 12:06 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by DeadJohn Quote
The grungy look in the processed image does a good job of hiding the focus issue, but it's so grungy that he looks like he just finished a 12 hour shift in a coal mine
That's it! The grungy look was intentional. OP could insert the words, Little Coal Miner, at the top of the picture.

03-27-2015, 12:25 PM   #9
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Good work! Color-color contrast manipulation* is a great way to create to depth and definition in a soft image.


Steve

* I made that up. In short, I frequently change the luminance and saturation on a per-color basis to provide pop and local contrast without artifact.
03-27-2015, 12:29 PM - 2 Likes   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by blackcloudbrew Quote
Sadly correcting focus is not possible.
Actually, that's not true. There are programs, such as Focus Magic, that do a pretty good job of it.
Attached Images
 
03-27-2015, 12:46 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Parallax Quote
Actually, that's not true. There are programs, such as Focus Magic, that do a pretty good job of it.
I'll stand corrected then.
03-27-2015, 12:56 PM   #12
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Original Poster
I didn't think I could actually "fix" the focus (thanks for showing how wrong I was about that, Parallax!); I was just hoping to use post-processing to incorporate the OOF-ness into the finished product. In fact, the idea of a little coal miner from 30's the was exactly what I was going for! Thanks for articulating that so well, John and Tina!

Here's the tinted black-and-white I did. I tried to keep that same idea of grunge going, so I used a lot of "color-color contrast manipulation," as Steve so aptly called it. I set the luminance for each color and then de-saturated each individual color, leaving the universal saturation untouched so those luminanc values weren't over-ridden:

03-27-2015, 12:59 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Parallax Quote
Actually, that's not true. There are programs, such as Focus Magic, that do a pretty good job of it.
Wow! That software did great.

---------- Post added 03-27-15 at 03:01 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by K McCall Quote
I didn't think I could actually "fix" the focus (thanks for showing how wrong I was about that, Parallax!); I was just hoping to use post-processing to incorporate the OOF-ness into the finished product. In fact, the idea of a little coal miner from 30's the was exactly what I was going for! Thanks for articulating that so well, John and Tina!

Here's the tinted black-and-white I did. I tried to keep that same idea of grunge going, so I used a lot of "color-color contrast manipulation," as Steve so aptly called it. I set the luminance for each color and then de-saturated each individual color, leaving the universal saturation untouched so those luminanc values weren't over-ridden:
I like this version too. It would look great in a vintage style frame.
03-27-2015, 01:02 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by TinaS Quote
Wow! That software did great.
Yep, and that was just the default setting. No tweaking involved.
03-27-2015, 01:04 PM   #15
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Nice. That looks like a handy one to have around.
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