Friday, September 9, 2011

Why I Never Shoot in Soft Focus

A photographers ability to take great pictures has never been easier than it is with the technology available today. From many of the point and shoot digital cameras to the high end DSLR's, you have many filters readily available for you to use. Today I want to review the use of the soft focus filter when taking pictures.

Keep in mind that my history and experience has been primarily with film cameras. Over the years I have used soft focus filters for weddings and children photography. So one of my filters in my camera bag was the soft focus filter.

Even though I had a soft focus filter I really didn't need one. I could have had any soft focusing effects I desired applied at the photo lab.

Now today's cameras bring photographers these abilities to soft focus with built in digital filters. That is a kewl feature but there are options we should consider before we choose to take pictures in the soft focus mode of our camera.

Here are some of the questions we should consider asking ...

1) Can the camera apply the soft focus effect after taking the original picture?

2) Can the soft focus effect be applied with computer software?

3) Have you ever taken a soft focus picture you wish was a regular focus picture?

4) What soft photo options are available?

Now I currently shoot with a Pentax K7 and I am very pleased with it. Some of the filters allow me to take a photo and set the image to base parameter, then I can save it and/or apply a different type of filter. The soft focus filter does not allow me this option.

So here is an image I shot some time ago without any filters applied.


Now using the soft focus filter built into the camera I used the same image and applied it to create the image below.


Now this was the maximum soft focus I could apply with the cameras soft focus post production capability.

The image below was created using the original image and applying a photoshop filter.


The photoshop filter allows for more of a soft focus effect than the camera filter and can be tuned per your specific liking.

Personally, I would never use the soft focus capability of the camera to take pictures at all. In my case, once a picture is taken in soft focus there is no recourse in post production to return to the crispness of a picture taken without the filter.

As you know the topic today was about the soft focus filter function of a camera. As with most digital cameras that offer filter capabilities, it is important for you, the photographer, to understand the abilities of the filter effects. Take time to learn these abilities. Take pictures with different effects and tinker with the capabilities of your camera. It helped me learn more, I hope it helps you learn more also.


Enjoy Life! Take Pictures!


BTW ... On Twitter I am @TMSphotos ... I am always willing to connect with photographers.  You are also welcome to follow my Blog here. I try to share knowledge, information and experience of my photography.

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