Flower of the Day – 5th November 2018 – How to achieve softness


Rose

For my entry today into Cee’s Flower of the Day, I thought I would use this apricot rose, which was photographed at Riverhill Himalayan Gardens in Kent.

How to achieve the softness

On a post I made called, Finding my Passion in Floral Photography, one of my readers posted the comment below.

Feministka
November 5, 2018
Woow you’re so talented. What did you use to make the pink rose (6th photo) so soft, if not a secret?

First of all, some photographers don’t like to share their processing techniques.. but I’m not one of them.  I have no problems is sharing my processing techniques and please feel free to ask me how I do things.  I will share my tips with you freely.

For the majority of my floral photography, the images are processed in Lightroom and very rarely do I use other software on them.

The Clarity and Exposure Sliders is the answer to the question added with a lot of radial and graduated filters. Below is the SOOC image.

Rose

First of all, I crop the image..  do my Transformation etc and choose a profile and do my basic editing.  Then in the basic panel, I take my clarity slider right down to -100 and also my exposure down to a negative number.  Yes, you end up with a dark looking image which is very soft. But don’t fear you will be bringing light and a little clarity back into the image in the next step by adding loads and loads of radial filters.

radial filters

By adjusting the Exposure and Clarity sliders you being back bits of clarity and light to the image.

If necessary, sometimes I add a graduated filter and control the clarity of the image.

graduated filter

As you can see in the image above, I wanted more clarity to the bottom half of the image, so I started my graduated filter outside of the image in the grey area and then dragged the filter to affect only that part of the image.

Rose

If I wanted the graduated filter and clarity to affect the whole image… I would have created a filter, again on the outside of the image, to affect the whole image.

graduated filter 2.png

By using the graduated filter you can reduce the clarity further than the Basic Panel Clarity slider allows you to.  You can soften the image as much as you like with the graduated filter.  And then bring back clarity in parts using the radial filters.

I hope these little tips help you softening not just floral images, but any image you want softening.

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Written by Bren (Ryan-Photography)

Bren Ryan is a female amateur photographer and blogger who along with her husband, Ashley, have created a photography blog called Ryan Photography which showcases the places they've visited on their photography journey. Bren and Ashley primarily concentrate their photographic skills on landscape, architecture and floral subjects. Based in the South East of England they hope to give their readers an insight into the wonderful and beautiful landscapes, buildings and places that the South of England has to offer.

3 comments

  1. That’s an involved process. Corel Paintshop Pro has an effect called Vignette which does the same, which I use often, with one click and move the “handles” to get the effect you want

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