What reduces visual imperfections while it softens your skin? This kind of magic doesn’t come from using a specific brand of dishwashing detergent—it’s achieved by employing an optical technique called “soft focus,” and in this post, we’ll show you how do it in-camera, rather than relying on post-production software.
Think of soft focus as the “dreamy” look you often see in older movies and glamour shots. These kinds of edits can be achieved in Photoshop, but performing this technique in-camera can save a lot of time and, frankly, it’s a lot more fun. Luckily, you don’t have to hunt down vintage glass, or buy new lenses to pull it off. There are much simpler and inexpensive ways of doing it.
One solution involves the use of a spare UV or clear filter and a little petroleum jelly. Smear a generous portion of jelly on the front of the filter and you will have a really soft look. Smear only a circle around the outskirts of the filter and you will get a look similar to an Instagram filter. Really, you can just have fun. The huge benefit of this is the amount of control you have over the final look. The only downside is that it will cost you a filter, and cleaning this up isn’t a ton of fun.
The other option is to use stockings. Just grab some hosiery and stretch it over the front of the lens. It’s simple, easy to store, and generally convenient to work with. However, unless you have a large collection of leggings, getting specific looks and effects will not be very easy.
These are just a couple of tricks to get you started. The best part is that you can see these effects without having to open up Photoshop, or search through a series of filters on your phone.