Experimenting with soft focus

More and more I see images that have a marked soft focus effect. As I am keen to broaden my armory of PS “skills” I did a bit of trawling last night and most of the sites I visited seem to focus only on the use of the Gaussian Blur filter. Is that it? Nothing more complicated? Tsk, tsk. What a disappointment.

The challenge in my mind is when is enough enough and when is too much, too much?

So I started gently. Here is my effort with the original frame below.



I can’t help feeling I prefer the original. Maybe I have overdone the blur – I used a radius of about 8 and the dialed back the opacity to ~65%. What do you think?

Is this a technique you like and/or use?

4 thoughts on “Experimenting with soft focus

  1. you inspire me to go out for a walk to take flower pictures. trouble is there is not much blooming around this way yet, although i have seen some little may flowers i think they are called, its raining today, tomorrow if its nice i will go. beautiful andrew

    • Dianne, there isn’t too much in flower here either but the green foliage is growing like wild fire as we get long rains and hot weather – like an out door irrigated glasshouse! But I can always find something. Enjoy your outing.

  2. I occasionally use a semi-opaque layer of the gaussian blur along with a layer of the filter> distort> diffuse glow when I really have to fix skin tones in headshots or glamour shot type photos. Seems like old realtors are the type that want that sort of treatment … along with their second chin magically removed. In product photography and graphic design, I only use the gaussian blur in small areas when I need to run text or a logo over the photo.

    • Thanks Fred, this is useful as I have not experimented with the Filter / distort / diffuse glow.What sort of radius do you use on the Gaussian blur or does it vary a lot?

I'd be delighted to hear what you think

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