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Image editing tutorial – Soft focus

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Note
For this tutorial I have used Adobe Photoshop Elements 5.0. However the methods and tools that I have used are common to most image editors, so you should have no problems following this tutorial in recent versions of Adobe Photoshop, Corel Paint Shop Pro, Ulead PhotoImpact, G.I.M.P. or earlier versions of Elements, as well as many others.

Introduction
To achieve a dreamy, romantic look, portrait photographers use special soft-focus filters to add a hazy glow to their pictures. It’s especially popular for formal wedding portraits and modelling portfolio shots, and can be very flattering since it tends to blur out minor skin blemishes. You’ve undoubtedly seen the effect on a million magazine pictures, and every single close-up when Captain Kirk meets a woman who inexplicably finds him irresistible.

The same effect is quite easy to acheive in Photoshop Elements 5.0, or indeed in any editing program that uses layers, including Paint Shop Pro, PhotoImpact and GIMP. With just a few simple steps you can turn this:




Into this:


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