I was tasked by my friend, Chih Wen, who happens to be the hall’s sepak takraw captain to take a photo for his team’s recruitment poster. What he had in mind was the photo of the takraw ball on the floor in sharp focus while throwing the background of the players in ready position out of focus.
I was using the Sigma 18-50mm f2.8. Even with the narrow depth of field at f2.8, the background was not really out of focus. The further your background is from your subject, the more out of focus the background will be and I wasn’t that far away from the players. Using my Canon 100mm was tempting but I thought it was a stupid idea since 100mm is just too long. So I decided to add some home made bokeh via Photoshop CS2 instead.
Here’s a list of things that I did while post-processing the photos.
1. Duplicating of the background layer.
2. Desaturating the background (minus the ball).
3. Applying Gaussian blur of 20 radius (again on a layer where the ball is erased).
4. Increasing the contrast of the background minus ball layer.
5. Smart sharpening the ball layer.
Personally, I think I went a bit overboard with the contrast and Gaussian blur. When desaturated into black and white, you can’t really tell what’s in the background. They just look like a clutter of mess. Take this shot for example.
Comparing it with it’s original colored shot I prefer the one with color. The emphasis may be on the takraw ball but I don’t want the background to be an annoying meaningless clutter of stuff.
I sent all 4 different photos (one set with color and another set with the black and white background) to Chih Wen. This was the final photo used for the poster.