In many respects photography is entering a golden age, a time period far different from the days of SLRs, film, print, and development tricks. Back in the day, photographers were careful to compose a photo and get just the right exposure because film and processing was expensive. These days? Who cares? This is one reason why.
‘We Don’t Need No Stinking Focus!’
Digital point and shoot cameras became popular because they produced decent quality photos without the need to worry much about settings; focus, exposure, shutter speed, et al. Most of the time I don’t bother to worry about focusing an image because I know I can adjust it later, thanks to autofocus.
Enter Super Refocus, a Mac photo enhancement app which does the unthinkable. It adds focus or blur after you take the photo. For me, I just shoot– iPhone or DSLR– and autofocus does a good job of keeping everything in focus. Super Refocus applies focus or blur exactly where you want within the photo. Here’s a perfect example.
Select the area in the fully focused photo that you want to keep in focus, mark the image, then change the focus to match your requirements. That simple process makes it easy to add focus and depth to a photo without the need for calculated exposures or expensive camera lenses and equipment.
Add a blurred background to simulate depth of field with just a few clicks. That brings focus to the favored object in the photo.
Here’s another example which does exactly the same thing to a focused image (the depth of field can be adjusted as needed).
Super Refocus has two processing modes. One Regular mode which is quick and easy, and the Customized mode which provides more granular controls over the settings.
The scope of the focus area can be adjust with a simple drawing stroke over that section of the image. One of four perspective modes gives you a natural blurring effect for backgrounds. Previews are live and visible in real-time, and, of course, there’s always Undo and Redo so you can make adjustments quickly and easily and see the results instantly. History is saved, too, so adjusted photos can be readjusted later.
I’m not advocating the use of a camera with only infinite focus, although apps like Super Refocus are perfect with cameras like the always focused Lytro camera. Thanks to modern technology we take more high quality photos than ever, each photo costs far, far less than photos with film, and the options to improve, adjust, and enhance photos are numerous and inexpensive.