The Soft Touch: A Photographer's Guide to Manipulating Focus

The Soft Touch: A Photographer's Guide to Manipulating Focus

by Jim Cornfield

Image sharpness is one of photography’s yin/yang propositions. Soft focus can impair a photograph, but just as readily enhance it. Blurs and soft zones function like shadows and highlights; they minimize certain details in the image and redirect a viewer’s attention within the frame. “Like the rest stops in a piece of music,” writes author Jim Cornfield, “creatively manipulated softness can empower a photograph’s impact.”

There are countless ways to selectively modulate sharpness in an image. This veteran commercial photographer reveals his personal choices for using soft focus. “It’s not just eye candy,” he writes, “it can also add great depth and meaning to an image.”

Readers learn the background of soft-focus photography, historical and technical-- the use of spherical aberration, circles of confusion, and bokeh. More importantly, the book reveals a wealth of image manipulation techniques for creating amazing, evocative effects both in camera and in the digital darkroom. Included; a bonus chapter featuring the work of three noted contemporary fine art shooters who use soft-focus and diffusion with stunning, gallery quality results. It’s great inspiration for readers to augment their photographic repertoires, their artistic personas and their client lists.

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