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DPChallenge Forums >> Current Challenge >> Soft Focus - Show and Tell
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05/07/2008 07:28:00 AM · #1
Any tips, techniques, tutorials for achieving soft focus? Can it be achieved in post-processing? Examples to share?
05/07/2008 07:31:52 AM · #2
i read that if you put Vaseline on a uv filter you can accomplish this
05/07/2008 07:32:47 AM · #3
>Filter >Gaussian blur (add strong blur)
>Image >Fade blur

makes a real nice soft blur.
05/07/2008 07:33:04 AM · #4
One tip I learned from the shot clips a few months ago... and I will apply that to my entry is that using Vaseline, very light layer on your filter. Probably a UV filter, clear. That should give a soft look to your photo. I actually used it on one of my challenges.

hidden.png
05/07/2008 07:39:32 AM · #5
and to add to this, if you have a nice UV, go out and buy a shitty skylight or uv to put vaseline on. dont put it on your $80+ UV filter so you can spend 20 minutes getting it off and polishing scratches into it
05/07/2008 07:40:21 AM · #6
I used Vaseline, too, in the Dreams challenge 552653.jpg
-but since I only scored 4.4475 and came nearly last, I wouldn't suggest you use it as a model!
05/07/2008 08:11:37 AM · #7
for my soft focusI challenge entry
591574.jpg

i used hair styling gel and a layer of thin plastic foil over my cheap uv filter.
the hair styling gel alone works great as long as it is wet, but when it dries out the soft focus effect disappears alittle and changes it appearance. anyways nice to experiment with ;)
05/07/2008 08:45:34 AM · #8
Bring out the "off black" panty hose and stretch it over the lens. Amazing how wonderful it looks. ;~)676938.jpg

Message edited by author 2008-05-07 08:52:03.
05/07/2008 08:58:14 AM · #9
Soft focus is one of my favorite things and very much a favorite of some of my mentors. They got me into two different SF pieces of equipment: Canon 135mm f/2.8 SF and an old time Sima lens. I shoot with them all of the time, specifically when shooting certain kinds of events. Tonight and Thursday I will again be shooting ballerinas and those items will definitely be in my bag. These require lots of practice to get good results, but it is worth it when it works.

There are plenty of tutorials and PS actions out there on the wab if you would rather do this is post. The one listed above I believe is legal in basic, but some of the ones that produce better results aren't. The main reason is that after you apply a SF treatment, you proably will want to apply a layer mask and remove the treatment or at least lessen the treatment on certain areas of the photo, like the eyes for example.

Different lighting conditions also have a lot to do with your results. Typically lots of contrast in the shot will produce a better result. Just turning any shot into a SF doens't always make sense or work out the best. Shots of kids or females with a bright sky or window behind them work nicely. Also, low light with black behind the subject can produce a dreamy effect.
05/07/2008 09:00:59 AM · #10
I have a feeling that this is going to be one hard challenge. Comments ranging from, too soft, too blurry, not enough softness, what is it, never pick up a camera again, out of focus.

Good Luck to each and everyone of you, I will look forward to voting in this one as I think it will be interesting
05/07/2008 09:27:59 AM · #11
Problem is, this is basic editing, so most has to be done in camera. If you just do the gaussian blur, it looks "added." GOOD LUCK EVERYBODY.

I want a lensbaby!
05/07/2008 09:56:05 AM · #12
I've learned a couple of soft focus methods.

1) Add gaussian blur....then go to edit-->fade gaussian blur-->and set blend mode to soft light. legal in basic
2) create a duplicate layer -- hide background layer -- erase lips and eyes (or whatever you want to remain somewhat sharp --- unhide background layer --- set blend mode to soft light legal in advanced.

Message edited by author 2008-05-07 09:56:28.
05/07/2008 09:57:53 AM · #13
Originally posted by albc28:

I've learned a couple of soft focus methods.

1) Add gaussian blur....then go to edit-->fade gaussian blur-->and set blend mode to soft light. legal in basic


That is NOT legal in basic; only normal blending mode may be used.

R.
05/07/2008 09:59:44 AM · #14
My method for soft focus stuff is to use a small piece of glass (eg. from a 5x7 picture frame) hand held in front
of the camera. For the blur, I use gel deodorant. No need to smear up your filters or camera equipment at all! Works great!
Qualifies for basic editing.
05/07/2008 10:26:15 AM · #15
Use a piece of cellophane over the lens.

That and a bit of PWL, got me this: 48945.jpg
05/07/2008 10:43:42 AM · #16
.

Message edited by author 2008-05-07 10:44:57.
05/07/2008 11:28:05 AM · #17
Originally posted by Jutilda:



I want a lensbaby!


yeah, me too! :)
05/07/2008 11:50:45 AM · #18
I wasn't going to try to shoot this but with all these tips, I am starting to reconsider because I want to try them out. It will be fun in any event. :)
05/07/2008 12:08:57 PM · #19
Haven't seen these posted anywhere yet ...

Soft Focus I
Soft Focus II
Soft Focus III
05/07/2008 12:14:52 PM · #20
Originally posted by albc28:

I've learned a couple of soft focus methods.

1) Add gaussian blur....then go to edit-->fade gaussian blur-->and set blend mode to soft light. legal in basic
.


I thought only normal blend was allowed in basic??
05/07/2008 12:19:05 PM · #21
Originally posted by gwe21:

Originally posted by albc28:

I've learned a couple of soft focus methods.

1) Add gaussian blur....then go to edit-->fade gaussian blur-->and set blend mode to soft light. legal in basic
.


I thought only normal blend was allowed in basic??


It is.
05/07/2008 12:23:54 PM · #22
Originally posted by Spazmo99:

Use a piece of cellophane over the lens.

That and a bit of PWL, got me this: 48945.jpg


Sorry to ask but what is a fiber optic snork, as referred on your comments in the pictures homepage??
05/07/2008 12:27:26 PM · #23
A bit of mist on the lens:

552696.jpg

Not that humid out yet so I may need to fake this effect ... a spritz of cleaning solution on the lens might do it ;-)
05/07/2008 12:39:24 PM · #24
What about a soft focus filter for the lens ... anyone tried this?

Soft filter on ebay
05/07/2008 12:45:46 PM · #25
Originally posted by bobonacus:

What about a soft focus filter for the lens ... anyone tried this?

Soft filter on ebay

Yep. :-) I have a couple of those (acquired as part of a package buying a used camera and lens). They work quite well.
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