Welcome to my blog! I write, and take photos, and use Photoshop every day. I love learning and surprises and my sweet family and being a transplanted southerner.

Photoshop Friday!

This week’s edition is a pretty simple photo editing technique that will give a photo a nice soft focus.

 Soft Focus

Here is the image we’ll end up with:


Choose an image that could benefit from some soft focus lighting - such as a baby, a romantic shot, etc. Some shots lend themselves better than others to this type of treatment.

Ready? Here we go!

1. Open the image. Here is my original, uncorrected image.


2. Normally I would say to color correct as the next step, but in this case I recommend that you wait to do any color-correction until after you see the results of the technique we’re trying today. Since we’re using blending modes with multiple layers, you’ll notice a definite contrast and color boost, and your adjustments will probably be different than they would be on your original image.

3. Duplicate the background layer (Right-click on the layer in the Layers palette and choose Duplicate Layer from the flyout menu) 

4. With the Background Copy layer targeted, go to Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur. Set the blur to something like 20 px. This layer will lose a lot of detail, and that’s ok.

Gaussian Blur - Click for Larger
5. In the Layers palette, set the blending mode for the Background Copy layer to Overlay.

6. Duplicate the Background Copy layer. You should have three layers now.

7.  In the Layers palette, set the blending mode for the new layer to Screen.

8. In the Layers palette, adjust the opacity of the Screen and Overlay layers until you’re happy with the balance between good color and soft focus.


9. Optional - if you feel like you need to bring back some detail, such as on a face, try erasing with a very soft, very light brush across the areas of detail.

Here again is my final image:


I can’t wait to see your soft focused images! Link me up in the comments when you get these done, ok?

Have a wonderful weekend! I’m almost back on track here. :)

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