ADD A SOFT FOCUS EFFECT to make a portrait glow

In this easy to follow tutorial we are going to add a soft-focus effect to a portrait that not only minimizes skin imperfections but also adds a romantic glow to the subject’s skin and still keeps the subject’s main features in focus. This technique is a must now for everyone who wants to work in the photo retouching department.

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Click and drag the Background layer over the New Layer button to duplicate it.

Click Filter.

Click Convert for Smart Filters.

Click OK in the message box.

Click Filter.

Click Blur.

Click Gaussian Blur.

Click and drag the Radius slider to blur the image.

Click OK to apply the blur.

Click here and select Screen.

Note that the image becomes very light.

Click here to add a layer mask.

Press B to select the Brush tool.

Click here to open the Brush Picker.

Click a soft-edged brush just large enough to outline the eye area.

Click the Airbrush thumbnail.

Click here and drag the slider to the left until 40% appears in the Opacity field.

Paint over the eyes and other important features to bring them out.

Click here and drag the Layer Opacity slider to the left to get the amount of glow that you want.

The soft focus is applied to the overall portrait while keeping the main features of the subject in sharp focus.


Try to experiment with the amount of Gaussian Blur, or any other smart filter, double-click the filter name in the Layers palette to reopen the dialog box.
Change the slider amounts and watch the changes on your image.

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