The prompt for April 2015 is: Soft Focus
“In photography, soft focus is a lens flaw, in which the lens forms images that are blurred due to spherical aberration. A soft focus lens deliberately introduces spherical aberration in order to give the appearance of blurring the image while retaining sharp edges; it is not the same as an out-of-focus image, and the effect cannot be achieved simply by defocusing a sharp lens. Soft focus is also the name of the style of photograph produced by such a lens.”
However I am pretty sure none of us are going to be heading out and purchasing a new lens to do this but don’t panic because there are other ways you can create this effect both in camera and in post production editing.
In Camera: Check out this brilliant step by step guide; DIY Photography Hacks: get cool soft focus effects using a pair of tights. I have not given this a go yet, but I love the idea of using some of my old stockings to take sexy soft focus self portraits so I will definitely be giving it a go.
Image Editing: If you have photoshop then this article; Soft Focus Lens Effect With Photoshop gives you a step by step guide on how to create Soft Focus images. If you don’t have photoshop there is lots of free photo editing software but I particularly like GIMP, it is about as close to PS as you will get for free and although it won’t quite do what PS will do it will get you damn close. Create the Dreamy Soft Focus Orton Effect in GIMP
Remember soft focus is NOT the same as an out-of-focus shot and can not be achieved by simply defocusing a sharp lens!
One of the things I have tried to do with the monthly prompt is to not only challenge but to inspire and hopefully encourage people to learn and try out new skills. I am aware this month that I am pushing the boat out in that regard and so am posting the prompt earlier than normal to give people as much time as possible to work on their images ready for the 1st weekend in April.
The prompt is published here on the site mid month, which will give people approximately 2 weeks to work on their idea before linking in, on the 1st weekend of the month. The prompt is completely optional and you can link in as normal on that weekend whether you have used the prompt or not. The usual Sinful Sunday rules will, of course, apply. Please make sure you have read them recently so that you are fully aware of what is and is not allowed.
As always interpret as you wish, or disregard altogether and do you own thing.