Soft Mode

Your guide to digital camera scene modes

Flowers are always great photographic subjects. But making a rose look truly beautiful can be a thorny problem.

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Use the Soft Mode to reduce sharp lines and prickly details. Various cameras achieve the softened effect in different ways, but in most cases the camera sets a larger lens opening (aperture or “f/stop”) and adds a healthy dose of blur. The result is an overall dreamy look that can resemble a watercolor painting. An added benefit: because of the limited depth-of-field, the background melts away and disappears.

Not soft: A straight-on photo of a rose, no special mode.
Yes, soft! Digitally softened image is greeting-card pretty.

Note that the Soft Mode works wonders on wrinkles and therefore can make people pictures more flattering. Like an artist’s loving hand, the Soft Mode can smooth away age lines and add glamour to just about any portrait. To enhance the effect, turn off the flash and use diffused natural daylight. It’s also fun to use when shooting self-illuminated objects like wedding cakes, Jack-o-lanterns, and birthday candles.


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