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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.