Purposely soft photos

Started 6 months ago | Discussions thread
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vwsjr
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Purposely soft photos
6 months ago

It seems like one of the odd trends I see in modern photography is the obsession with sharpness, resolution, detail.  People talk so much about how sharp a given lens or camera is, and always throw up photos supporting their argument.

It's somewhat odd to me because when I look at many old photos from great photographers, photos that I consider outstanding, many of them would be considered very soft and exemplify the exact opposite of what I see many photographers focused on today.

Anyway, since there are so many factors that can contribute to making a photo soft, I was wondering if people could contribute some ideas/experience in regards to purposely creating soft photos.  I'm more concerned with actual photography technique rather than editing in software, but ideas related to either are welcome.

The photo included here is just one example of what I'm talking about.  This wasn't taken with the intent of getting a soft photo, but the shutter speed was 1/40s, hand-held at roughly a 675mm equiv. focal length.  I like the effect that overall the bird is in focus, but the feather detail is almost non-existent, partially because of excessive noise and partially because of the low shutter speed.

I'm probably more interested in playing around with this for landscape photos, but it would be interesting to try more with wildlife too.

 vwsjr's gear list:vwsjr's gear list
Nikon D80 Nikon D300S Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR Nikon AF Nikkor 24mm f/2.8D Nikon AF Nikkor 50mm f/1.8D +5 more
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