Alien Skin Software Bokeh
Bokeh is the real-world photographic technique for creating images where the subject is largely in focus and the background is blurred.
- Excellent, realistic-looking results; great fine-tuning controls
- Using the plug-in often requires manual cutouts, which are time-consuming
Alien Skin is great if you or your photographer doesn’t have access to the necessary lenses to achieve a Bokeh effect, or you want to add this effect at the end of a composition.
Price$ 199.00 (AUD)
NOTE: Pricing for this product is in US$.
Bokeh is the real-world photographic technique for creating images where the subject is largely in focus and the background is blurred. The effect is usually caused by using a shallow depth-of-field with a large aperture lens (such as Canon’s EF 85mm f/1.2 II), or a telephoto or macro lens; it’s common in wedding, sports or nature photography.
Alien Skin’s plug-in fakes this effect, which is great if you or your photographer doesn’t have access to such lenses, or you want to add this effect at the end of a composition.
After applying the plug-in, you can choose the type of lens you want, or just use the default setting. This is for sticklers, as we saw little difference between the lens options. More important is the amount of bokeh and whether you apply it over the whole image, with a round unblurred focal region (and the focus dropping away from this gradually), or a flat gradient of focus from one region to another (here called planar). Both focal regions include handle-driven controls that are fast and easy to use.
The downside is that, unless the depth of the image allows smoothly flat or round dropping-away of focus, you’re still going to need to cut out the foreground subject before applying your bokeh – which can be time-consuming. Both the acorn (above) and taps (below) were cut out in Photoshop before applying full and radial bokeh respectively.
Bokeh includes fine-tuning controls over aperture type – including the diaphram shape and the ‘creaminess’ over the highlights – and vignetting, to mimic real lenses in a way that Photoshop’s blur tools can’t match.
It supports the 64-bit Vista version of Photoshop and 16-bit images, but not 32-bit ones (or CMYK pictures).
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PCW Evaluation Team
I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.
It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.
The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.
Wireless printing from my iPhone was also a handy feature, the whole experience was quick and seamless with no setup requirements - accessed through the default iOS printing menu options.
A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.
I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.
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