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  1. #1
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    How to make pictures "soft"?

    Hi, this is a daft beginner's question (forgive me), but I've noticed something while perusing some people's photographs on various websites or blogs and watching films. Some pictures are harsh, with strong edges, gritty (but not grainy...just like pictures that have a harsh feeling about them). Then there are pictures like these:

    http://tinypic.com/jaw4y0.jpg
    http://tinypic.com/jawe34.jpg

    I'll try to explain this the best I can. It's sort of dreamy, and the pics are soft and bright. The quality found in an ultra modern hotel with white and metallic everything (okay, that probably didn't make sense). In movies (typically those set in England, for example Woody Allen's new "Match Point"), the atmosphere feels so soft and inviting like in the two photos above. Any tips on the best ways to achieve this? Is it the natural overcast weather? Is it created lighting? Camera set-up? Any insight is appreciated. And if anyone can point out any literature devoted to this, that'd be great. Thank you.
    Last edited by photogirl; 12-29-2005 at 07:07 AM.



  2. #2
    alter ego: Analog Matt
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    Looks like window light, and shallow depth of field. Basically, very diffuse, "soft" lighting.

  3. #3
    Been spending a lot of time on here!
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    Seconded.
    Did you hear that Nikon uses Canon Cameras to shoot their ads?

    All in fun

  4. #4
    Been spending a lot of time on here!
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    A little digital cheating can also increase the effect slightly

  5. #5
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    is it the natural overcast weather?
    I hope you're not suggestiong that we get nothing but overcast weather over here Only kidding, i suppose we do get a fair bit...

    but your spot on really, its soft light, either daylight (windowlight) diffused through clouds, or artificial light diffused (softened) through a softbox/screen. you can achieve really soft light on a small scale just by putting tissue paper or even plain white paper in front of your light source, whether it be a flash, window, spotlight etc, you can even use a desk lamp.

    Krim


  6. #6
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    Thanks. When you're talking about a desk lamp, should I take the shade off? Put the paper over the shade? Over the bulb? Thanks.

  7. #7
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    what i do to soften pics digitally is simply removing the noise. But there's usually a "soften" tool in editing softwears...
    For film, as matt said: diffuse lighting.

 

 

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