Going soft

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #237: Bringing Softness

It’s fun bringing something new to a photograph. The software I use is Corel PaintShop Pro Ultimate 2023. I just hammered through these doing something different to my usual techniques to soften images. I alter a photo changing lightness, shadows, or mid-range tones, sometimes adding more black or white as well as saturation. Mostly then I use vignette as the first stop in softening an image.

This photo I used a function in the software – Soft Focus, which I haven’t used before.
I changed the amount of soft focus and edge hardness. Then set the Halo amount, size and visibility I bore you with meaningless numbers.
From a harsh morning sun through grass seeds to this.

A bee on a Zinnia. I seem to have quite a number of similar photos. Just using vignette and dark settings
Dark/Light
into the negative numbers
Blur making sure the subject bee wasn’t out of focus
Diffuse Glow on low as well
Feather Edge just encroaching on the petal

The opposite with the Australian Painted Lady Butterfly. The original photo had the grass as well as the butterfly in focus. Firstly, I bought up the black and colour as it was a bit washed out.
I decided to try something new again. Selective Focus. It is in parallel band and can be moved in any direction.
First I ran the focus following the butterflies body and to the tip of the wings. Left and right hand sides now blurred.
Then did the same going horizontal, blurring the top and bottom of the photo.
Adding a vignette in a vague heart shape.

A very old street in Adelaide, Victorian terraces and a blue stone building which were a staple for stone buildings in the late 1800’s. A bright sunny day photo. I like the result of this photo. This was the first photo I played with and was just doing all sorts of things, deciding I didn’t like it and undid the changes.
Therefore no idea how I did this one, sorry

Well there you go. This is something I don’t usually do and I know why…..it’s exhausting! Hope it gave some insight into the process to get a desired result

42 thoughts on “Going soft

  1. There’re all lovely images, Brian. πŸ™‚
    Out of interest, is their much difference between Paintshop Pro Ultimate 2023 and 2021 ?
    I put it on my laptop two years ago when I bought the machine but I’ve only just begun to use it. If I’m editing I tend to you use my All-in-one machine and the old software.

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  2. Mesmerizing… I Just love what ‘Soft Focus’ did to your images. I thought the Bee and Butterfly were great… but that street scene is spellbinding… Thanks for joining in xx

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        1. I love how you’ve just decreased the vignette… and lightened the edges so slightly… which makes the subject just make the houses and flowers just pop…

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  3. Love the grass but they’re all lovely. I’ve been wondering about this challenge as I only have Picasa as an editing tool. I keep wondering whether I should pay to get some thing more expensive, but as you say, it takes a lot of time.

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  4. Seems my comment went out in space? Love them all, Brian! My soft favourites are the bee and the butterfly – but nothing beats the sun through the grasses!

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