Synthesizing Depth-of-Field in Seconds

  • Episode 297
  • May 28, 2013

Using the free GNU Image Manipulation Program to add a very quick depth-of-field effect to your photos to give them a "high end" look.

This video is provided free of charge. If you enjoy what we do, please consider becoming a Patron so we can continue offering more great content.
Support This Free Content
This episode is sponsored in part by: netTALK DUO, Netflix, Eco Alkalines.

Topics Covered:

  • Robbie Ferguson and Eric Kidd present from the Category5 studios in Barrie, Ontario.
  • Greetings to the viewers in the chat room.
  • Eric has been converted to a nerdling: he's wearing [a brighter than the sun] Spock shirt.
  • Your thumb is meant to be out when doing the Vulcan hand salute.
  • Abigail Smith Page is married! Our photo booth was so easy to use that even a baby can do it.
  • Back in the day, photo booths weren't an option so we'd put disposable cameras on each table at a wedding reception.
  • Welcome to our new viewers.
  • {play 11:06}Feature: Using the GIMP to create a depth-of-field effect in seconds to enhance your photographs.
    • Get GIMP for free for Linux (although it is probably available in your package installer such as Synaptic Package Manager, Ubuntu Software Center or apt-get), Windows or Mac OS X.
    • Single window mode in the GIMP can make usage a little easier for users used to Adobe Photoshop.
    • Adding a really simple vignette to your photograph to draw the viewer's eye to your photographic subject.
    • Creating a marquee and feathering it in the GIMP.
    • Creating a marquee to obtain a rough copy of the background of your photo for blurring.
    • Ensuring your blur doesn't go outside of the layer bounds by locking the alpha channel of your layer.
    • The difference between a Gaussian blur and some of the other blur filters.
    • Adding a blur to our background to provide a depth-of-field effect.
    • Adjusting our vignette to suit the photograph.
    • Robbie demonstrates how quickly this effect can be created on a photo. Of course, you'll want to be a little more precise, but it gives us an idea how quickly this beautiful enhancement can be added to your photos.
  • {play 28:56}Top Stories from the Category5.TV Newsroom
    • Fantasy Football is coming to Linux, and gamers are realizing that Linux is a viable gaming platform (or maturing into one).
    • The QR code is not dead: it may in fact save lives. Mercedes-Benz is using QR codes to offer emergency workers instant access to vehicle schematics to expedite rescue.
    • A warning about Facebook friends: there is a growing trend of malicious people using your friend's photo to spoof their profile. They can then "add you" as a friend, and since it looks and seems like your actual friend, you might fall for it. If you do, it could mean trouble. A 13 year old boy was kidnapped and held for ransom having befriended someone on Facebook thinking they were a friend, but they were actually a criminal gang. Thankfully, the boy was rescued, but it opens our eyes to a frightening issue.
    • 18 year old student, Eesha Khare has invented a superconductor which will charge a cellphone in only 20 seconds.
  • {play 41:24}Lego has built the world's largest Lego model: a scale size X-Wing Fighter from Star Wars.
  • Star Trek TNG fans are completely restoring the U.S.S. Enterprise NCC-1701-D bridge set for event use. Find out all about it or support the venture by visiting
  • {play 45:57}Viewer Questions
  • Viewer Question: I've found Jitsi, an open source alternative to Skype. Maybe you should take a look at it.
  • Viewer Comment: Thanks for suggesting Ultimate Boot CD on Episode 293. It may be difficult to navigate at first, but it is a really great suite of tools. Also, I have taken your advice and installed Point Linux on my old machine, and it definitely seems to run better than some other Linux distros I tried.
  • Viewer Comment: My wife and I cracked up when you were pronouncing and joking about our username, Keckeckec. We found your show about a month ago and love it! I've been using Linux for about 14 years.
  • Viewer Question: What software do you use to run your URL-shortening system? Answer: yourls.
  • Viewer Question: I can't play rented DRM Google movies in Point Linux. It says something like, Ubuntu and Linux OS users must also install the HAL module for DRM Flash reader. How do I fix this?
    • Try the information at, but heed Robbie's warnings on the show.
  • Viewer Question: I just caught up with Episode 295. Great show on Apache! Thanks.
  • Robbie shares a warning with Eric from our good friend, Robert Gorzinski.
  • Viewer Question: I love the freedom of Linux! I've finally talked my girlfriend into switching, but she lives far away. How could I remote into her computer to help her when she needs it?

Links to Relevant Web Sites:

  • Host: Robbie Ferguson
  • Co-Host: Eric Kidd


Technology TV
Episode 658 Live:

Being Watched

Twitter Posts

Login to Category5

Error message here!

Hide Error message here!

Forgot your password?

Register on Category5

Error message here!

Error message here!

Hide Error message here!

Lost your password? Please enter your email address. You will receive a link to create a new password.

Error message here!

Back to log-in