Challenge: Soft Focus II (Basic Editing III)
Camera: Nikon D70s
Lens: Sigma 50mm f/2.8 EX DG Macro for Nikon
Location: Philadelphia, PA
Date: Aug 22, 2006
Aperture: f/ 32
Shutter: 1 second
Galleries: Still Life, Floral
Date Uploaded: Aug 22, 2006
|If you know me and flowers, I am not an advocate of shooting for softness in general. But with the Nikon and the SLR versatility, I am becoming, for lack of better words, a little more soft about the process.
I had no idea how to shoot soft. I did a series of lisianthus yesterday and that was more shallow DOF than soft. I had the camera set for a soft focus but that did not really do the trick. I went to the Rittenhouse Square Farmer's Market this morning and saw these minature sunflowers and bought five. I still had no idea how to shoot for the soft focus so I tried just shooting and then adding gausian blur on a couple of faded normal blending mode layers and....nah...didn't work. Also tried 15 to 30 second exposures painting the flowers with the lights of two small, white LED flashlights and....nah, didn't work.
I had reviewed the prior challenge for this theme and found a solution that did work. Timmi had shot her entry in the first challenge by breathing on the lens and then shooting, so I tried it. Of course it was not as cold here as when she took her shot, but the effect worked. I put my UV/Circular polarizer filters on my Sigma 50mm Macro and breathed on them. I as I recall on this shot, I was breathing and breathing until the filter was full covered and then clicked the remote. I had set the camera in manual focus so there was no refocusing of the lens to get the shot and loose the effect on the filters.
I love the glow that this procedure made around the flowers as well as the softness of the subjects. I might have done some selective brightening up front and definitely got rid of the dust spots that that showed up. But of the images I took for this week's Open Challenges, this was by far my fave.
Post: Converted from raw with +0.67 exposure compensation. Layer adjustments for levels, brightness/contrast and hue/saturation. NeatImage. Sharpen (of all things but I wanted a little more detail after the NI). Resize. Sharpen. Save for Web.
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