Pro Review: Alien Skin Bokeh
By Betsy Finn
Bokeh is a Photoshop plug-in by Alien Skin Software that allows photographers to manipulate focus and depth of field. The plug-in simulates the feel of specific lenses, and allows photographers to apply a range of creative focus options, post capture. Prior to experimenting with my own images, I was skeptical about Bokeh's ability to realistically alter depth of field and render creamy highlights. Based on my evaluation of Bokeh, I can say, I'm officially impressed.
While the Bokeh interface is very intuitive, Alien Skin has provided a detailed series of tutorials on how to utilize the plug-in to its fullest potential. After exploring the video tutorials and case studies online, I had a good understanding of how to use Bokeh.
One of the nice things about the Bokeh plug-in is that you can preview the effect in the plug-in's interface before performing the final render. As I previewed a number of Bokeh's Factory Settings, I was impressed at the variety of choices. Some presets were special effect oriented (e.g. Hollow Heart, Lens of Love), and others are meant to approximate a specific lens (e.g. Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II, Nikkor 105mm f/2.5). In the example below, I chose the Diamond Delight setting, from the series Blur 20% - Bokeh With Highlight Boost.