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Soft Focus in Photoshop

Photoshop TV‘s Matt Kloskowski highlighted a great tip for soft focus, based on a sharpening technique.

Basic idea looks like:

  1. Create a copy into a new layer
  2. Apply the High Pass filter (use more radius than usual for sharpening)
  3. Inverse the layer
  4. Set the blend mode to Soft Light
  5. 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!