Achieving a dreamy effect in photography

Discussion in 'Digital Discussion & Q&A' started by goosiegoo, Feb 3, 2010.

  1. goosiegoo

    goosiegoo TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2010
    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Australia
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Hi there

    I've been searching for awhile now to find a method that a lot of my favourite photographers use in their fashion photography to achieve that 'dreamy effect'. I know that the sun is an important factor, but I'm not sure what these photographers do to filter that sun out so it is more diffused.
    I was thinking perhaps a diffusion filter or a transparent diffusion filter, but I wanted some other opinions before I bought one.

    I would really appreciate any help!

    Here are some examples.

    http://fc03.deviantart.net/fs44/f/2009/063/1/d/another_poem_by_wordsforsnow.jpg

    http://fc07.deviantart.net/fs71/f/2009/355/5/b/I_don__t_care_what_nobody_says_by_tokarchuk.jpg

    http://fc00.deviantart.net/fs70/f/2009/355/5/8/Darling_I_hope_by_tokarchuk.jpg
     
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2010
  2. mom2eight

    mom2eight TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2010
    Messages:
    455
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Georgia
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    I really like that effect also. I hope someone will respond with an example to show us what they've done.
     
  3. rufus5150

    rufus5150 TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2008
    Messages:
    1,658
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Austin, Texas
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    A few factors at work, here -- (oh and btw, you're not supposed to post pictures that aren't your own, only links)

    First off, shooting into the sun will produce flare and will 'wash out' images. You need no filters for that. The scene is exposed for the subject and you let the highlights blow out. In the first one, the sun is just off the top of the frame. The second the full effect of the sun is hidden by the shoulder.

    The second and the third (left frame ) are shot with a narrow, narrow DOF (1.8 on a 50mm on a FF camera). When you get down that low with a lens which has a high number of curved aperture blades, things start going silky smooth. In fact, in the left half of the 3rd image, virtually none of the subject is in complete focus, which works.

    I'm guessing some of the toning was added in post (especially blowing out yellow the highlights instead of white) but if you shoot into the sun, it tends to give a yellowish cast anyway.

    I did a similar shot of my daughter not too long back, shot at f1.4 on a crop sensor. The color cast was added in post:

    [​IMG]

    But it definitely makes use of the 'smoothing properties' of the lens at that aperture, the back-light/washing out but still getting the exposure somewhere near where it should be.

    This next one was shot as a quick snapshot in the backyard with the the sun backlighting but completely out of frame:

    [​IMG]

    But the washout is simply bare lens and strong backlight. You might also benefit from removing any lens hood which will increase the wayward light entering the lens.
     
  4. goosiegoo

    goosiegoo TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2010
    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Australia
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Great, thanks for the help! So it doesn't really have anything to do with filters? (that would be good!)

    I realised during your reply that the photo I was thinking of where I shot into the sun and didn't get that kind of effect was on f5.6, and I haven't tried it with my f1.8 lense before!

    Thanks for your help!

    (And I'll fix those photos, thanks for the heads up)
     
  5. rufus5150

    rufus5150 TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2008
    Messages:
    1,658
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Austin, Texas
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    Forgot to mention on the latter shot our house is this (lovely, ahem, erg, bleah) yellow-ish color, which works great as a reflector, hence the foreground is a bit brighter than what might otherwise be.
     
  6. LokiZ

    LokiZ TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2007
    Messages:
    354
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Northern Indiana
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Addressing the "dreamy" side or at least in my opinon of what dreamy constitutes.

    You could always "borrow" a pair of pantyhose to help give some soft diffusion. A well placed burn/melt hole can give a spot of clear focus as need be. place this on or between two filters and you can rotate it to put the focus spot where you need it.

    At least that is what I used to do with my film cameras. Have not done it much since the days of PS but it would be fun to do again.

    Might have to play around with the brand color and tension of the hose to get it to your liking, but that is half the fun.
     

Share This Page

Search tags for this page
dreamy photography
,
how to create dreamy pictures iwth a filter
,
how to get dreamy photos
,
how to shoot dreamy photos
,
how to take a dreamy photo
,
how to take dreamy looking photos
,
how to take dreamy photographs
,
how to take dreamy photography
,

how to take dreamy photos

,
take dreamy photos