Photoshop TV‘s Matt Kloskowski highlighted a great tip for soft focus, based on a sharpening technique.
Basic idea looks like:
- Create a copy into a new layer
- Apply the High Pass filter (use more radius than usual for sharpening)
- Inverse the layer
- Set the blend mode to Soft Light
- Adjust the layer opacity to taste
Without step 3, the photo is sharpened. With step 3, you get a lovely soft focus effect. The advantage to this approach is the effect can be selectively removed by painting on the layer with 50% grey.
This was an a ha! moment for me. I use high pass filter sharpening, but it simply never occurred that it would also work for soft focus.
After a year or two of watching Photoshop User TV, I’m still learning heaps. Thanks guys!