soft focus

CWA_JGEISINGER

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how do I achieve that soft focus look to the whole picture as seen in some portraits?

in photoshop?
 

Alex_B

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a gaussian blur or something similar in PSP could certainly do something like that.

But I am sure there are more elaborate ways in PS to do it. Also you could use filters.
 

Alex_B

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this is what i meant, filters as opposed to PS action. But right, the way I wrote it was not clear in that respect ;)
 

Atropine

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Go old school. Use a sheet of glass with a smeared ring of vaseline in front of the lens. :thumbup:
 

Helen B

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As Jeff refers to, they key thing about the legendary soft focus filters (ie the ones that go on the lens) and lenses is that they produce a sharp image along with the softer image. They aren't all-over soft. Hence the blending of sharp and unsharp layers in PS. Try adding some glow as well as blur.

One of the easiest and cheapest soft focus filters for camera use is the well-known stocking over the lens. Tights, stockings, panty-hose whatever you want to call them. Different colours have different effects - black is the most common. You can get them cast in resin, should you so desire.

The Zeiss Softar can be imitated by dropping small globs of clear glue onto a sacrificial Haze or UV filter - so that there are large portions of the filter that remain unmodified, with little glue lenslets here and there, in an even manner.

The Vaseline trick tended to be more for getting a clear central spot than an overall soft focus effect.

Best,
Helen
 

bango707

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The Vaseline trick tended to be more for getting a clear central spot than an overall soft focus effect.

Best,
Helen

We do this in film to make a cheap star filter! You are correct, it helps to have a spare filter or flat that you don't intend on using ever again.
 

Fiendish Astronaut

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If you are photographing a still subject then try taking two shots: one with the forground in focus and one with the background (or one in focus or one out) and then combining the two.

I tried this once and got this: http://www.flickr.com/photos/cttm/27843146/

It's not a brilliant shot, I could have chosen a better subject and executed it better but I was just messing around. Not sure if it's the effect you're looking for though...
 

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