Friday, December 10, 2010

Don’t Delete Your Photographs Part III–Graffiti in Focus


This is the third in a series of posts discussing software packages that offer the opportunity to salvage photographs you may otherwise discard.  Just so we are all clear, getting the shot right the first time is undoubtedly the best approach.  But if you have that once in a lifetime opportunity to shoot the Central Park Yeti – and you miss the focus – there may be some help available.  And focus is the topic of today’s post.



Last week, I heard of a new software package by Topaz Labs called InFocus.  The software was touted as having the capability to restore photos that suffered from either motion blur or simply being out of focus.  I just had to experience this miracle.  Well, I was both disappointed and encouraged at the same time.  I was disappointed that the software did not live up to my expectations, but encouraged that Topaz Labs took a first step in providing a solution.  Topaz Labs makes some great products, so I expect the next generations of this package to move the focus recovery concept to a truly valuable piece of software.


CHE In Focus-2

I would like to provide you some examples of out of focus shots and the result from InFocus, but I will rather focus on a positive application of this package.  Fundamentally, Infocus is a targeted sharpening software.  So rather than continue to be disappointed by attempts to heal unfocused shots, I decided to apply InFocus as a sharpening tool.  The photographs here show the results.


The first photograph is the post-processed yet unsharpened original.  The second photograph is a cropped area of the original – unsharpened – to give you a better view of what InFocus can do.  Finally, the third photograph is a repeat of the cropped section with InFocus applied as a sharpening tool.  In my opinion, InFocus makes a fine sharpening tool although it lacks some of the controls other dedicated sharpening packages provide.  Finally, the last photo is the entire composition with InFocus applied as a sharpening tool.


CHE In Focus

In summary, I am not recommending InFocus as a tool to salvage out of focus, or motion blurred shots.  The good news is that some really bright people are working on this, and a solid solution is likely just around the corner.

Have fun, and go make some great photography.


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