Picture This!
Soft Effects

Our Picture This! assignment this month was “Soft Effects,” using various techniques to get an ethereal look that matches and enhances subject matter. While members of the f/64 club might wince at the thought, adding soft effects through filters (lens or computer) is part of a long-standing tradition among a certain romantic tradition of the craft. Readers sent in a wide variety of images, with florals being in the majority, which show how adding a bit of softness to an image can be a good thing.

A Child’s Hand
Geri Bragg used Tiffen’s DX software to add a very pleasing soft effect. She photographed with a Nikon D300 and a Nikkor 18-200mm VR lens; exposure was f/5.6 at 1⁄2500 sec at ISO 800.
© 2009, Geri Bragg, All Rights Reserved

Irwin H. Segel sent us a twist on the assignment using subject motion for the softening touch. He photographed with a Nikon D200 and a Nikkor 18-200mm VR lens with an exposure of f/8 at 1⁄8 sec at ISO 400.
© 2009, Irwin H. Segel, All Rights Reserved

Dreamscapes #3
Howard Grill worked with a Lensbaby Composer and a Canon EOS-1Ds Mark II to make this self-portrait. Exposure at ISO 100 was 1.3 seconds.
© 2009, Howard Grill, All Rights Reserved

In Flight
Camera and subject motion combined for a magical effect in this photo by Michael Eurbin. Exposure with a Nikon D300 at ISO 200 was f/5.6 at 1⁄6 sec.
© 2009, Michael Eurbin, All Rights Reserved

Smoky Mountains
Bob Wells used a Singh-Ray diffusion filter on his Sigma 17-35mm lens for this early morning image. Exposure with his Canon EOS-1Ds Mark II was f/11 at 1⁄25 sec.
© 2009, Bob Wells, All Rights Reserved

In Camera
Stan Patz used this image for a promotional card for his studio. He photographed with a Calumet 8x10 camera with a reducing back on 4x5 Ektachrome E100S film.
© 2009, Stan Patz, All Rights Reserved

Child With Puppy
Bob Hawkins made this loving photo of his great-granddaughter and her new puppy with an Olympus E-510 camera and a Zuiko 50mm lens. The effects were added using Corel’s Paint Shop Pro.
© 2009, Bob Hawkins, All Rights Reserved

Diffusion Glass
Robert K. Bailey used a classic soft focus prop—a bathroom shower door—to get this shot of a vase and flowers. Exposure with a Canon EOS 50D was f/16 at 0.6 seconds at ISO 400.
© 2009, Robert K. Bailey, All Rights Reserved

Floral Play
Randy Ryan used shallow depth of field and planes of light and dark for a soft touch on these delicate flowers. Exposure with a Canon EOS 40D and a Canon 100mm macro lens was f/3.5 at 1⁄2000 sec.
© 2009, Randy Ryan, All Rights Reserved

Yellow Flower
Very selective focus gave this photo just the right feel. Donald F. Biresch made the photo with a Nikon D3 and a Nikkor 200mm macro lens; exposure at ISO 200 was f/4.5 at 1⁄125 sec.
© 2009, Donald F. Biresch, All Rights Reserved

Tamarack Cones
Ronald Plonka caught all the design and color of these pine cones with a Canon EOS Digital Rebel XT and a Sigma 400mm lens. He added the soft focus effect using Photoshop’s Blur filter.
© 2009, Ronald Plonka, All Rights Reserved