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I have this photo which I am happy with. And I would not be able to find puffins everyday so difficult to reshoot the image. The focus of the bird is on its tail and not the eye. Is it a way to "move" the focus in post-prosessing, or at least make it less obvious that the focus is on the tail. The puffins focus is on the tail and not the eye

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Sure, you can increase apparent sharpness in many ways. One is to just display the image smaller. E.g. at the size the image is displayed in the post (~6" wide on my monitor) the tail does not appear significantly sharper than the head.

Or you can combine smaller display with some version of selective sharpening of just the head/eye zone (increasing the apparent DoF). And you can combine that with selective defocus/blur of the tail/foreground zone (shifting the apparent DoF back w/o increasing it).

Here I did all of the above (max size now 2048x, selective sharpening and selective blur).

enter image description here

I used Topaz Sharpen AI for the sharpening stage. I then layered that image with the original in PS for the selective blending/blurring.

Is the result as good as if you had gotten it tack sharp to start with? No, that's not possible. But it is far improved from where it started; and it may very well be more than adequate for your needs/use (when an image is output smaller, any additional resolution/detail/sharpness is lost/compressed).

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Your post prompted me to give Topaz a try. tbh, for the length of time it took it was rather disappointing, & every tweak takes more time, until you finally commit… then it takes just short of forever [I have 24 cores for it to have a go at, yet it only used 2]. I came to the conclusion life's too short ;)) \$\endgroup\$
    – Tetsujin
    Aug 15, 2021 at 16:15
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Tetsujin, LOL! Yeah, I almost never use plugins/Topaz; generally an image that is that OOF wouldn't even get imported... \$\endgroup\$ Aug 15, 2021 at 21:15
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There are various software solutions that will attempt to recreate edges that are not really there.

Photoshop's Smart Sharpen isn't bad, but it still tends to look a bit 'cartoon-like' if you push it hard.
Example… pushed too hard

enter image description here

click for larger

I know it's tough when you find one that would have been great… if only… but you just have to learn to cull if it's not fixable in post.


I was reminded of this piece of advice after a jaunt today…

Bin it.

enter image description here

Keep it.

enter image description here

You can be as sentimental as you like, but if it's not in focus, it's not worth worrying over. You'll get another, one day...

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