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Basic Techniques: Soft Focus by photo-class Basic Techniques: Soft Focus by photo-class

Soft Focus is a simple technique that can quickly enhance a photo. It can be acheived both with simple digital or analog processing on a normally focused image.

This article gives a few tips on how to create this effect.

Please leave us comments if you found this helpful or if you have any information/correction to add.

Thanks for reading!

Originally submitted: Mar 15, 2004
Resubmitted: 22 May, 2007

Article by ~roy204 and ~silentkeystroke
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EnaiSiaion Featured By Owner Nov 11, 2011
Simple but useful. Thanks! :)
Kebeca1690 Featured By Owner Jul 4, 2011
look very interesting....thanks much
Neo-Br Featured By Owner May 13, 2008  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Nice tutorial!!! tks!
crazykira Featured By Owner Dec 24, 2007
Hi ,you've been featured in this news article

jamesilluminare Featured By Owner May 23, 2007  Professional General Artist
ayatseifelnasr Featured By Owner Jan 30, 2007
when i pressed on download it said:file not found :S wat sould i do?!
alysa-angel Featured By Owner Jan 10, 2007
The Link seems very broken..

GreenManalishi Featured By Owner Oct 28, 2006
yeah i would love to see it but it doesnt seem to work anymore...
kardos Featured By Owner Jun 28, 2006
could you recheck the link please, it's broken.
Look like a very usefull tutorial.
cultureddirtbag Featured By Owner Nov 18, 2005
Wow, this is simple and yet very useful for that extra something in photos.
Majnouna Featured By Owner Nov 11, 2005  Professional General Artist
Very good and clear, these are really appreciated (I'm particularly interested in the analog part). I have to have a look at the rest of your tuts!
S-t-r-a-n-g-e Featured By Owner Sep 12, 2005
Great tutorial...!!
Aralerta Featured By Owner Aug 9, 2005
respect!! This tutorial can help me......
eyebo- Featured By Owner Jul 25, 2005  Professional Photographer
Brilliant! Love this technique! I feel I learn something new on dA each day :D

Thanks for this wonderful tutorial!!! :)
Bachlakoff Featured By Owner Jun 23, 2005
Thanks a lot, I just put up a deviation that I was able to imrpove thanks to this and the border tutorial! Don't worry I made sure to thank you ;
abutre Featured By Owner Jun 14, 2005  Hobbyist Photographer
Very nice article from a very nice group!
Nikolaj Featured By Owner Apr 30, 2005  Hobbyist General Artist
adyus Featured By Owner Feb 10, 2005   Photographer
As usual, an excellent tutorial and an easy to use technique for those of us who can't afford a soft focus filter or lens.

I have only one suggestion: I've tried (with some degree of success) to change the mode of the blurred layer from Normal to Screen. This makes the photo a little too bright so I played with levels on the original layer until it looked right. This technique helps give a pretty halo to those pesky sharp highlights, IMHO.

Looking forward for the next series of tutorials :)
photo-class Featured By Owner Feb 11, 2005
This is a really good suggestion. We are thinking about putting place some appendix, or user suggestions for our articles and this coule be one of them. Thanks :) !
OrangeArtFreak Featured By Owner Feb 2, 2005
very awesome
dapejn Featured By Owner Dec 13, 2004
interesting tut, thanks. :)
cryptix Featured By Owner Dec 9, 2004
:camera: totally fantastic! :camera:
jarofjuice Featured By Owner Nov 22, 2004
This is really helping me a lot.. I am definately watching you guys - you seriously rock and I thank you a lot for your patience and willingness to write this and lend your experience to other people.
Zlatty Featured By Owner Sep 29, 2004  Professional Photographer
i like this one too ... it would be cool if it were shown how to do it in PSP not just PS
VariableSanity Featured By Owner Aug 3, 2004  Student
used the soft focus, check it out here [link] Thanks you guys
photo-class Featured By Owner Dec 7, 2004
Pretty nice use of the effect you got on that shot! Thanks for sharing :)
wiedenu Featured By Owner Jul 15, 2004
great article!
oceanreaction Featured By Owner Jul 4, 2004   Interface Designer
All these tutorials have taught me something!!! Thanks a lot for sharing the knowledge. :-)
Terri-Wilson Featured By Owner May 17, 2004
I tried this and it worked brilliantly! Thanks so much for this tutorial! :D


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bronzecase Featured By Owner May 16, 2004   Photographer
This is my first photoshop tutorial (I just installed PS yesterday...!), and now I already know how to create a soft focus! Thanks so much for a detailed, yet easily understandable tutorial. I can't wait to try another!
~ Casey
ost2life Featured By Owner Apr 8, 2004  Hobbyist Photographer
in addition to this it's sometimes nice to put a plain white layer at say 50% op. on top just to add to the effect or set the blending of the two existing layers to dodge or burn.
merlinni Featured By Owner Apr 7, 2004
thanks so much, this is so helpfull. you are great, guys!
d34db0y Featured By Owner Mar 28, 2004
nothing new - for me at least; i'm using exactly that for about one year on my digital images... just that i put the blur-layer on soft light wich gives the whole thing more contrast...
cyber-punk Featured By Owner Mar 23, 2004
Your articles are great, I feel passionate about photography although I'm not too good at it yet, I can definitely learn things from these.
My only gripe though is that I wish they were all PNGs rather than JPGs, I'd love to have the collection of full quality articles on my computer or print them out out and carry them with me to read up on and better my knowledge of photography but the JPGs are a little rough round the text. For most ppl the slightly larger file size of a PNG wouldn't be a problem, it would for some I guess but it's only the matter of another minute downloading probably.
Keep up the great work.
roy204 Featured By Owner Apr 1, 2004
what we could do is put a link in our journal to a place where you could download them as PNG, they are usually around 900K in PNG which is why we prefer to post them as JPEG. I will look into wrether this is doable or not.

Good idea :)
cyber-punk Featured By Owner Apr 1, 2004
Sounds like a great idea, it covers all angles this way :thumbsup: :nod:
cyber-punk Featured By Owner Mar 24, 2004
If you do decide to maybe do this, It'd be great if you could let me know, but If not I'll check back sometime myself just incase.
Cheers :)
silentkeystroke Featured By Owner Mar 24, 2004   Photographer
Sounds like a good idea.....I'll put it to roy204 who did the layout on this one.
snader Featured By Owner Mar 22, 2004
Great article. Thanks for the inspiration, I especially liked the analog part!
blackzer0 Featured By Owner Mar 19, 2004
basic but very helpful, I'd never think of it by myself. Thank you so much! :)
MikkelT Featured By Owner Mar 17, 2004
I'm sure this can be usefull for some people, great work again ~photo-class :)
closedmouth Featured By Owner Mar 16, 2004
hmmm, i don't do portraits, but i'm sure this will be helpful to heaps of deviants
deathbycanon Featured By Owner Mar 16, 2004
Great lesson, very well done. I do my images like this sometimes but most the time I now use the dreamy filter by autofx. Best part it's free!!! [link] Here is just one sample but my gallery is full of them. [link]

Just another option I thought I would share! :)
padilha Featured By Owner Mar 16, 2004
congratulations once again. you guys have managed to keep up with the quality the first tutorials had. i know how difficult that can be...

just keep them coming... :)
padilha Featured By Owner Mar 16, 2004
and that tiny bit of maths was of excellent taste :)
justbob Featured By Owner Mar 16, 2004
Nicely laid out, beautiful examples, your efforts are appreciated!
MeckaLecka Featured By Owner Mar 16, 2004
Great tutorial, I'm more impressed with the layout. Fantastic :D
wycked Featured By Owner Mar 16, 2004
Nice! A simple and useful tutorial. Thanks a bunch :)
jl01 Featured By Owner Mar 16, 2004
nice little trick, well explained. good work!
Zorro40 Featured By Owner Mar 15, 2004  Hobbyist Photographer
Muchas gracias
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Submitted on
March 15, 2004
Image Size
579 KB


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