Weekly #633 - Soft Focus Competition

Competition Details
Closing Date: 01/09/2019
Judge: johnriley

We spend a lot of our time producing sharp images, so this week I'm asking for the opposite, in other words Soft Focus. This can be anything from vaseline smeared on a filter to Lensbaby lenses, the Q system 07 Mount Shield lens, or any other way that we can shoot a soft focus image. Classic soft focus would be portraits and dreamy landscapes, but the subject matter is entirely open. Either shoot a new image or use your archives, but have fun and see what you can come up with. Usual Pentax-only rules!
Competition Entries


Link Posted 02/09/2019 - 00:41
Soft focus is something that I have never been all that tuned in to. I suppose that when we are used to seeking sharp, crisp images then doing away with all of that can be a tough adjustment. But soft focus can yield some beautiful, artistic results and I have been making an effort to explore it as a style, hence the subject for this competition. On with the comments, and then to the winners!

Tulip by kree is a gorgeous, soft red. It reminds us that soft focus does not mean out of focus. Here the depth of field is perfect for the subject. With this, we are off to a great start.

Wind in the willow 2 by NigelK is a great title, generating images in the mind of Kenneth Grahame's book as well as being a more literal explanation of what the image is about. It is as delightfully soft, swirling image that totally evokes the soft feel of the wind.

Chesil Cove Portland by ianmet is magnificent, subtle and has a most unusual soft feel to it. The core image appears to be sharp, but there is a vintage, pastel feel to the picture that is partly to do with the colour, as much as it is to do with actual softness of focus. This is more of a soft focus effect that is an ethereal feeling in our perceptions, and very subtle and satisfying.

Martin Mere Monet by johnjm is a totally skilled interpretation and I am impressed that it is so simple and yet so effective. A brilliant shot, brilliantly handled.

Purple Heather by JAK offers swirling, exciting motion and razor-thin depth of field. I do feel though that the effect is less soft and more busy in nature and although it is a fine image it's not fitting into my idea of soft focus quite so comfortably.

Rufus by MikeinDevon conveys the nature of Rufus very well indeed. As regards the soft focus, the bokeh on the shot does seem a little harsh to me, so overall not quite making the list this time.

Veronica by retsoor has some beautiful, soft blues in the image. The green areas in the background also show some very nice, soft bokeh. I am finding the orange flower to be a bit of a distraction, so I would be looking perhaps to reframe the image at the taking point to avoid that.

Soft Dahlia by Noelcmn is rather too sharp for this competition I think, showing edge artefacts that may be a result of over-sharpening. The yellow is also rather harsh, so perhaps that could be toned down.

A great selection, but I find myself drawn to three images in particular that are especially finely crafted. The choice between them is so very close, but choices in competitions have to be made, so:

johnjm is the WINNER with Martin Mere Monet, a masterful interpretation of the style of a master.

NigelK swirls into second place with Wind in the willow 2. This is very imaginative and well executed.

ianmet coasts into third place with his very fine shot of Chesil Cove Portland. The colour of this and the overall soft effect are sublime.

No other awards this time as there are only a few entries and these three just sang out at me!

So, it's over to johnjm to take us forwards into the next competition. We done to all who entered, many thanks for doing so. I really enjoyed all the images!


Link Posted 02/09/2019 - 12:47
I like that winning image very much as noted masterful interpretation of a master. Certainly has an arty feel to it. Congrats Johnjm. And extended to Nigelk and ianmet. Thanks to our host and judge for the challenge, always appreciate the C&C's.
Link Posted 03/09/2019 - 20:17
Thanks John for the competition and judging and well done to 1st 2nd and 3rd places
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