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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Posts
    18

    Wedding Photography: Filter Question

    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

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Singapore
    Posts
    1,099
    Quote Originally Posted by vegabros
    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.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Grafton, MA
    Posts
    1,714
    Quote Originally Posted by vegabros
    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
    www.jamisonwexler.com

    Canon 5dII|Canon 5D|Canon 40D|Sigma 15 f2.8|Canon 35 f1.4|Canon 50 f2.5|Canon 50 f1.8|Canon 85 f1.2|Canon 17-40 f4|Canon 18-55 f3.5-5.6 IS|Canon 24-105 f4 IS|Canon 28-105 f3.5-4.5|Canon 70-200 f2.8 IS|Canon 75-300 f4-5.6 IS|Kenko 1.4x TC|Canon 580ex X3|Canon 380exII |Canon 420ex|Sunpak 383 x4|Sunpak 120j x2|Sunpak 622|Elinchrom Skyports

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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Formerly South Wales. Now South Carolina.
    Posts
    7,147
    I find a Jessop's own-brand skylight filter works well for soft-focus/diffused looking photos.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Posts
    18
    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

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Paradise (aka Key West, FL)
    Posts
    139
    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.
    ---
    dwig

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Connecticut
    Posts
    1,118
    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
    Canon dSLR User

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Formerly South Wales. Now South Carolina.
    Posts
    7,147
    Quote Originally Posted by ktixx
    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

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Connecticut
    Posts
    1,118
    Quote Originally Posted by Rhys
    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
    Well of course I knew that I was basically saying if you have to strech them over a lens ("put on/take off" THE LENS )to get the shot that might make the bride and groom impatient
    Canon dSLR User

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Grafton, MA
    Posts
    1,714
    Quote Originally Posted by vegabros
    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
    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...
    www.jamisonwexler.com

    Canon 5dII|Canon 5D|Canon 40D|Sigma 15 f2.8|Canon 35 f1.4|Canon 50 f2.5|Canon 50 f1.8|Canon 85 f1.2|Canon 17-40 f4|Canon 18-55 f3.5-5.6 IS|Canon 24-105 f4 IS|Canon 28-105 f3.5-4.5|Canon 70-200 f2.8 IS|Canon 75-300 f4-5.6 IS|Kenko 1.4x TC|Canon 580ex X3|Canon 380exII |Canon 420ex|Sunpak 383 x4|Sunpak 120j x2|Sunpak 622|Elinchrom Skyports

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