I had intended to do more work with the Photoshop alternative Affinity Photo over the last couple of days but was distracted by the sunshine and it slipped towards the back of my to-do list.
However, as I am still pondering the potential merit of off-focus pictures, and knowing fully well that I can replicate Hiroshi Sugimoto’s style with the computer, I thought it would be an interesting experiment to test the ease with which Affinity Photo could fulfill this relatively easy task.
I didn’t need the border but the rest in PS is simple.
Make a copy of the background, select the Field Blur option and choose the desired amount of blur, select B&W adjustment layer and play with this until you have what you want, do the same with a level’s adjustment layer, run a high pass filter over that and select soft light blending mode, make your adjustments, flatten the image and you’re done. Takes about four minutes.
Sadly, I spent an hour with the Affinity Photo program and never came close to getting it right. There seems to some sort of problem within the layer system, although I’m not able to articulate what the problem is, but the process is sort of cludgy and difficult to understand . The good news is that a newer beta version has just been released, which means they’ve had enough feedback to make changes for the better.
I foresee a large potential market for this program if it doesn’t slide into the “let’s make it easy for people to put smiley faces on their photographs” type programs that seem to be the default for most photo enhancement programs.
As of this writing the program isn’t very intuitive, but then PS has undergone massive changes since I began using it back in the 90’s, and the truth be said, not all of those changes were good.
This is another stitch image done at Potsdamer Platz. I like the soft focus look because it reminds me of Fritz Lang’s Metropolis, which also happens to be one of my all time favorite films.
85mm, f9, 1/100sec, ISO100