02 Defocus from the sides
The Lens Blur filter’s Sides option is, to be honest, hard to distinguish from the Tilt Shift option. You can rotate either into an position you like, and the Sides option simply starts from the sides of the picture rather than the top and bottom.
This picture makes the ideal subject because the line of huts makes a perfect receding plane for the defocus effect to look convincing…
Though it’s best not to look too closely. The shingle beach is another receding plane, but it’s at 90 degrees to the front of the huts, so the defocus effect here is quite wrong.
Again, then, you do get the shallow depth of field ‘look’, but real-life subjects seldom provide simple arrangements of objects and planes, so don’t expect too much optical correctness.
03 Round defocus
This is the option to choose if you’ve got a roughly circular or elliptical subject. It looks like the ideal option for this portrait, because I can match the gadget to my subject’s face and adjust the outer edges to control the rate at which the background blurs.
I still don’t think this looks like a genuine depth of field effect, but I think it’s the next best thing, and it was quick to do.
In fact I think you could say the same of all three defocus options in the Perfect Effects 8 Lens Blur filter. Don’t imagine you really can simulate the real thing, and just be happy with the quick and simple digitally defocused looks you can achieve.