Alien Skin News: March 2009

The American People Project

Ira Glass
Ira Glass © The American People Project

Frank Buckles
Frank Buckles © The American People Project

The President of the American People Project, Nels Akerlund, recently asked Alien Skin Software for some help. The project is a non-profit organization dedicated to creating the most complete collection of photographic portraits taken during any period in history. The immediate goal is to photograph 100,000 Americans representing each of the fifty states. Among recent participants are Frank Buckles, age 108, the last living World War I veteran, Virginia Call, age 114, the oldest living person, Ira Glass of This American Life, and all of the living munchkins from the Wizard of Oz. Upon completion, the project will be donated to the Smithsonian Institute. At Nels' request, we donated Bokeh, Blow Up, and Exposure. I'll let him explain why.

"We tried using shallow depth of field in camera, but felt the reduction of detail throughout the face was too much. Bokeh gives us the control we need and the look we are after. We have tried other products that claim to do the same job as Bokeh but we have only been impressed with your software. We printed a 44x66 inch print (kudos to Blow Up) this weekend for a museum that is doing a show on the American People Project and the Bokeh looks fantastic!"

- Nels Akerlund
President, The American People Project
www.AmericanPeopleProject.org

Fake Model Photography

I made a tutorial for one of my favorite uses of Bokeh, making a real scene look like it is a toy, like a model railroad set. The tutorial gives detailed instructions and then shows off some examples from shots I took in Paris, France and near Sapa, Vietnam. At the end you can follow links to this technique done with expensive tilt-shift lenses.

Triomphe fake model

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Imaging Insider Interview

On the Imaging Insider blog you can hear Elmo Sapwater interview Terence Tay, the rocket scientist behind Bokeh. The interview is great for understanding why Bokeh is different from the blur tools built into Photoshop. You’ll especially enjoy listening if you are into nerdy photography terms like “circle of confusion”. Elmo is an old friend of Alien Skin Software. He called me in 1994 when he was at PDN magazine to give advice to our fledgling company and has continued to give us encouragement for the last 15 years.

Imaging Insider

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Survey

We want to know which image editor you use and which magazines you read. If you will take a very short survey to tell us, you will be rewarded at the end with a coupon code. The code is good for 15% off on everything in our store. It only works through March 31, 2009, so take the survey soon if you are interested!

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Bokeh Reviews

Diane Berkenfeld has a great Bokeh article in Studio Photography. She says, “Alien Skin produced a sweet piece of software in the Bokeh plug-in.” Diane concludes by saying, “One of the great things I like about Bokeh is that I can use it on any image--from the first digital images I shot to the ones I'm capturing today.”

In her Software Watch column in Photo District News, Theano Nikitas lavishes praise on Bokeh. Theano says, “If you want to be really blown away, head over to www.alienskin.com and take a look at Bokeh (yes, it does exactly what the name implies). This new plug-in from Alien Skin is, in a word, amazing.”

In his photography blog, Peter West has a short but extremely complimentary review of Bokeh. Peter says, “Now a company called Alien Skin has created software which mimics the shallow depth of field effect of the $2,000 (and up…way up) lenses so treasured by professionals. This is digital magic and looks great.”

You can check out Bokeh examples, case studies, tutorials, reviews and a fully functional 30-day demo here.

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above: one of the photos from the new Bokeh fake model tutorial.

in this issue

The American People Project
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Fake Model Photography
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Imaging Insider Interview
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Survey
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Bokeh Reviews


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Ava
I love the Griffin Clarifi case that gives the iPhone a macro lens. This would be much less creepy if it were blurry.

– Jeff Butterworth
Queen Bee

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