Is bokeh overrated?

Started Jun 18, 2011 | Discussions thread
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IcyVeins
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Is bokeh overrated?
Jun 18, 2011

It seems like you can make bokeh pretty well in photoshop by using a simple Gaussian blur on the selected area. It can be harder to select areas where there is low contrast and/or fine detail, but even then it can usually be done with the more advanced selection tools by zooming in to 200% or so, and/or using refine edge. There are also other types of blurs like box blur and radial blur that can create other blurring effects as well.

For example this photo is a fairly tight crop (though probably should have been a bit tighter) that I converted to B&W and added bokeh with the magic wand tool and Gaussian blur. I may have blurred a bit too much and didn't spend much time on it at all but it certainly got the job done to the point that it looks like a plausible unedited shot.

So what exactly is the point of obsessing over lenses that make nice bokeh when nervous bokeh can be pretty easily corrected? Even in the case where the focus gradually fades in and out, you can use the blur tool and various opacities and bleind mode settings to correct nervous bokeh or create bokeh from in-focus areas. Are there any cases where photoshop cannot effectively recreate something done by a particular lens/camera?

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