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vegabros
02-20-2005, 07:08 AM
Hello,

I'm going to be shooting a wedding soon and I'm trying to get myself well prepared.

I noticed my wedding photographer took some nice pictures of me and my wife using a "soft filter" and a film camera. It gives the photo a nice soft, dreamy look to it.

My question is, how can I get that look using a digital camera like the Canon Digital Rebel (300D)?

I've searched for filters, but I just get polarized filters.

Thanks!
Leo

gary_hendricks
02-20-2005, 07:19 AM
Hello,

I'm going to be shooting a wedding soon and I'm trying to get myself well prepared.

I noticed my wedding photographer took some nice pictures of me and my wife using a "soft filter" and a film camera. It gives the photo a nice soft, dreamy look to it.

My question is, how can I get that look using a digital camera like the Canon Digital Rebel (300D)?

I've searched for filters, but I just get polarized filters.

Thanks!
Leo


Have you tried (excuse the language) using a lady's panty hose to cover the lens, then take shot. This is a cheap, commonly used trick to get a nice, soft dreamy look to a photo.

jamison55
02-20-2005, 08:30 AM
Hello,

I'm going to be shooting a wedding soon and I'm trying to get myself well prepared.

I noticed my wedding photographer took some nice pictures of me and my wife using a "soft filter" and a film camera. It gives the photo a nice soft, dreamy look to it.

My question is, how can I get that look using a digital camera like the Canon Digital Rebel (300D)?

I've searched for filters, but I just get polarized filters.

Thanks!
Leo


There are a few different ways to achieve this effect, but be warned it is a much more difficult effect than just slapping a filter on the front of your lens. You really have to experiment with pertures and lighting to see what settings give the desired effect.

Having said that, here are a few options:
- Pantyhose (as Gary mentioned) stretched over the camera lens.
- Vaseline dabbed on a clear filter (messy)
- A soft focus filter (search adorama.com for the term - prices vary from $20 to $300, but I'd be suspicious of the cheap ones)
- Canon makes a really nice lens that let's you dial in the soft focus effect (135 f2.8 SF). It will set you back around $280, but it is sharp as a tack at its default setting, with two strength settings for SF (I presently use this lens).
- You can use photoshop to apply softness to your photos

Rhys
02-20-2005, 08:47 AM
I find a Jessop's own-brand skylight filter works well for soft-focus/diffused looking photos.

vegabros
02-20-2005, 02:53 PM
Thanks!

You think using Photoshop Elements will do as good of a job as using a filter?

The pantyhouse idea is definitely worth trying.

I went from video to photography, and I thought photography would be cheaper
:rolleyes:

dwig
02-21-2005, 07:18 AM
As a note, do not expect the camera's autofocus system to work with any "soft-focus" or "diffusion" lens attachment. Generally speaking, the better (read: more "beautiful") the effect, the less likely it is that the AF system can focus or will focus correctly. It might function adequately, but be prepared to focus manually.

ktixx
02-21-2005, 10:06 AM
let me preface this by saying I have no experience with soft filters or even wedding photography for that matter. But to put my two cents in, I would have to say photoshop is the best way to achieve this effect. If you are shooting a wedding it will be time consuming and difficult to put on/take off the pantyhoes and even more difficult (and messy) to use vaseline. The bride and groom probably won't want to wait for you to change lenses and filters. Overall if you want the effect take a normal shot and digitally apply the effects in photoshop.
Ken

Rhys
02-21-2005, 10:24 AM
let me preface this by saying I have no experience with soft filters or even wedding photography for that matter. But to put my two cents in, I would have to say photoshop is the best way to achieve this effect. If you are shooting a wedding it will be time consuming and difficult to put on/take off the pantyhoes and even more difficult (and messy) to use vaseline. The bride and groom probably won't want to wait for you to change lenses and filters. Overall if you want the effect take a normal shot and digitally apply the effects in photoshop.
Ken

I think he meant you had to carry spare panyhose around, not pause to remove the pantyhose you might be wearing in order to take the picture :p

ktixx
02-22-2005, 10:43 PM
I think he meant you had to carry spare panyhose around, not pause to remove the pantyhose you might be wearing in order to take the picture :p

Well of course I knew that :p I was basically saying if you have to strech them over a lens ("put on/take off" THE LENS :D )to get the shot that might make the bride and groom impatient

jamison55
02-23-2005, 03:22 AM
Thanks!

You think using Photoshop Elements will do as good of a job as using a filter?

The pantyhouse idea is definitely worth trying.

I went from video to photography, and I thought photography would be cheaper
:rolleyes:

A picture is worth...

Here are two examples. I took the first one with my 135SF f2.8 on my DReb at its sharp setting and softened it in PSCS (create new layer/gaussian blur @4.0/opacity @75%)

http://www.fphoto.org/jamiewexler//sfps

The second shot is straight from the camera (resized for the web). Canon 135SF f2.8 on my DReb, lens softness setting @ 1.

http://www.fphoto.org/jamiewexler//sflens

and for those curious about how sharp the 135SF is when not SF'ing, here's the first shot w/out the PS (forgive me a little lack of sharpness, I was using this lens handheld at 1/40th of a second...according to the old rule of thumb I should not have used a SS lower than 1/160). F2.8/ISO800/1/40sec

http://www.fphoto.org/jamiewexler//sflenssharp

This lens goes for less than $300 new and becomes a 216mm telephoto prime on a 1.6 crop factor body. IMHO one of the best values in Canon lenses...

jamison55
02-23-2005, 03:29 AM
As a note, do not expect the camera's autofocus system to work with any "soft-focus" or "diffusion" lens attachment. Generally speaking, the better (read: more "beautiful") the effect, the less likely it is that the AF system can focus or will focus correctly. It might function adequately, but be prepared to focus manually.

Don't have much experience w/filters, but the camera focuses just fine with the SF lens...

vegabros
02-23-2005, 10:12 AM
I didn't see much of a difference between the photoshop-edited photo and the photo using the soft-focus lens.

But maybe my eyes aren't trained in the ways of the jedi photographer yet :)

Thanks again to all who have replied! :D

jamison55
02-23-2005, 11:24 AM
I didn't see much of a difference between the photoshop-edited photo and the photo using the soft-focus lens.

But maybe my eyes aren't trained in the ways of the jedi photographer yet :)

Thanks again to all who have replied! :D

Take a close look at the edges, especially around the contrasty areas (such as the edge of the bride's dress). The PS version basically places a sharp version together with a blurry version, so the edges aren't as clean. The lens produces a really nice soft "halo" of light...

Having said all of that, your client may not be able to tell the difference either, so you may have just saved yourself some money (if you already own some version of PS already).

dwig
02-23-2005, 01:47 PM
let me preface this by saying I have no experience with soft filters or even wedding photography for that matter. But to put my two cents in, I would have to say photoshop is the best way to achieve this effect. If you are shooting a wedding it will be time consuming and difficult to put on/take off the pantyhoes and even more difficult (and messy) to use vaseline. The bride and groom probably won't want to wait for you to change lenses and filters. Overall if you want the effect take a normal shot and digitally apply the effects in photoshop.
Ken

I'll add another 2 cents:
1. If its the first time you'll be shooting with the filter, take backup pix FIRST w/o the filter (to soften later in PS ...) and, then if time permits, try the soft filter.
2. Don't mess with new equipment at an important event. Shoot with the new soft filter a bit before the wedding. Set up a fake wedding environment if necessary, just to learn the attachments nature. What aperture you use can have a big effect and you need some experience before pressing it into service.
3. If you try the "smear greasy stuff on a filter" method, get two filters. Smear the "gunk" on the front of one and then seal it with the second filter on top. Now you have something you can handle in the field without messing up either your clothes or the effect.