Photoshop Challenge - Soft Focus

Discussion in 'Graphics Programs and Photo Gallery' started by Josh66, Jul 28, 2008.

  1. Josh66

    Josh66 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    All three of these were take with the Canon 135mm f/2.8 Soft Focus lens. I didn't buy the lens for the soft focus feature (I bought it because I couldn't afford the other Canon 135mm lens), but it is fun to play with.

    Anyway..., I always hear people say that soft focus is easier to do in PP, and there's no need to have a special lens just for it. Well, maybe I just suck at PP - but I can't replicate the effect.

    I know it says "Not OK to Edit" over there under my user name, but for this thread it is OK.

    Here's the challenge: Edit photo 1 (no soft focus effect applied) to look like either photo 2 (soft focus set to 1), or photo 3 (soft focus set to 2). The soft focus on these was done in camera, haven't been able to get it to look the same in PP. I just want to see what someone with more PP experience can do to replicate the effect. If you don't mind, please say what you did too.

    Here are the photos (if the resized version is too small I can post the full size, just let me know):

    1
    [​IMG]

    2
    [​IMG]

    3
    [​IMG]


    (Sorry for the boring subject...)
     
  2. Bifurcator

    Bifurcator TPF Noob!

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    OK, here ya go. You might have to make your browser window kinda large to see both side-by-side as intended though.


    [​IMG] [​IMG]
    Your Original...........................................................................My Edit.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]
    Your Original...........................................................................My Edit.

    But noone can say "it's easier to do in post". Obviously if you have the lens the process is finished instantly after you press the shutter button. ;) For my edit tho all I did were three short very simple steps in PS. I could make it look exactly like your original but I was being lazy and you said you wanted to compare how easy the processes were. :D
     
  3. Josh66

    Josh66 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Nicely done. The only real difference I see (which I'm sure wouldn't even be there if you weren't so lazy ;)) is that the light reflecting off of the caps seems to 'glow' more on the in-lens soft focus shots.
     
  4. Bifurcator

    Bifurcator TPF Noob!

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    Heheh, lazy me. ;)

    Yeah, after I did the three steps I added an auto-levels to it just before saving and it munched those. I should have undone it.

    The biggest differences I noticed were the reflection details all got munched by the Lens Blur. Notice how about 2/3 of the way down on the left edge of the photo there's like little wrinkles in the reflections? Those. The other thing was that assuming your focus point and etc. remained the same, the lens version of the soft focus stiffened up the specular hits off the front edge of the counter-top and the software version left it pretty much alone like it was in your #1 shot.
     
  5. Josh66

    Josh66 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Hmm... I can't be 100% sure that the point of focus is exactly the same on all of them.
    The focus shifts a little when you adjust the soft focus setting on the lens, I tried to refocus on the same spot but it's probably not perfect. They were all at f/2.8 though. Shot in Av mode, the shutter times might be slightly different (haven't checked the exif, and I don't remember what they were), but that shouldn't affect this anyway.

    I have more of these at different apertures, but wide open gives the most softness so I thought that would be best for this. By f/4 it's barely noticeable and at f/5.6 you can't even see it anymore.

    The only downsides I see to doing it in camera are that it can't be undone, and that it applies it to the entire photo. I think there would be times when I would want to apply this effect to only part of a photo, not to mention being able to do this to photos taken with another lens.

    If you don't mind sharing your secrets, what were the three steps you did?
     
  6. Bifurcator

    Bifurcator TPF Noob!

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    Sure NP.

    1. duplicate layer,
    2. execute the Lens Blur tool in PS,
    3. merge layers (with the blurred one on top and at about 50% ~ 60% opacity).
     
  7. Josh66

    Josh66 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    That simple? I thought there'd be more to it. I'll have to play around with this and see what I can come up with.
     

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