Okay, so you want to create the long lens compression, but you don’t have the lens, you only have photoshop. What to do? We’ll show you how to fake it till you make it. We’ve all seen the beautiful images where the subject pops so sharply from a gorgeous blurred background, right? And, surely, many of us know that that stunning bokeh is the result first and foremost of a long lens (offering lots of compression), and a low aperture. But, there are a few things you can do to achieve a similar look without spending thousands of dollars on new gear. And today, I’m going to unfold some of those Photoshop strategies for you!
Please know that these tips were born out of necessity. I define myself mostly as a Lifestyle – Fine Art Photographer and as such, I LOVE a long lens for outdoor portraits. I used a 70-200mm WORKHORSE in almost all my outdoor work for years. But, a few months ago, tragedy struck. I picked up my 70-200mm lens one fateful day last summer, and only half of it came with me. The inside literally fell out. Now, it sits, sad and lonely in pieces in my gear backpack as a very expensive weight. It will cost more to fix than replace so I will replace it (probably with the Sigma Art 105mm), but in the last few months we moved twice, bought a small acreage, and the province where I live totally shut down twice (thanks Covid), so it hasn’t felt like a good time to be indulgent.
So, for now, I do what I can to manipulate bokeh and compression with a couple simple shooting techniques, and some Photoshop finesse.
And, that’s basically all I do to add bokeh using Photoshop! If you don’t have a long lens, but swoon over beautiful bokeh, these tips will help you find some satisfaction!
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