QUESTION: Looking for a certain lighting effect...

Discussion in 'Photography' started by BD, Jan 26, 2006.

  1. BD

    BD Guest

    Hey, all.

    I'm planning a shoot sometime in the next while, and for some of the
    shots there's a certain effect I want. I know I've seen the effect many
    times, but don't have a sample to refer people to offhand - so I'll
    describe it.

    Basically, it's an effect wherein the background light (be it sunlight
    or light through a window) really dominates the image - and casts a
    glow through the enture image. It's almost like the light is creating a
    volumetric mist. In images like this, the sky is almost always near

    I don't know whether this is done by the use of a filter, or whether
    there's a certain exposure technique at work.

    Anyone know what I'm on about? I can try to find a sample image
    somewhere, but I'm hoping I won't need to. Hopefully someone out there
    knows how this effect is accomplished.

    BTW - I have a 6MP Rebel, several lenses, and access to any version of


    BD, Jan 26, 2006
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  2. BD

    dadiOH Guest

    Sounds like diffusion and/or soft focus. You need a filter or special
    lens to do it.


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    dadiOH, Jan 27, 2006
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  3. BD

    BD Guest

    Sounds like diffusion and/or soft focus. You need a filter or special lens to do it.

    Just did some poking around - yes, that's a similar effect. I do see
    some Photoshop tutorials on that, which I'll try before forking for a

    BD, Jan 27, 2006
  4. BD

    thewurd Guest


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  5. BD

    BD Guest

    Remember, what goes around comes around.

    Yer Damned Right.
    BD, Jan 27, 2006
  6. BD

    Steve Wolfe Guest

    Sounds like diffusion and/or soft focus. You need a filter or special
    Or really bad flare. ;-)

    Steve Wolfe, Jan 27, 2006
  7. BD

    Rob Novak Guest

    Old trick - stretch a piece of nylon stocking over the lens.
    Rob Novak, Jan 27, 2006
  8. BD

    Beach Bum Guest

    Is this the effect you're talking about?

    On the off chance it is..

    The sun was about 1 or 2 degrees from the horizon. No filters. Just
    positioning. If I took 1 step to the right or left the sun's effect was
    completely disrupted. The subject was directly on the line between the
    camera and the sun. Slightly under exposed for the shaddows but still
    letting the highlights blow a little for effect. Shaddows recovered with
    light dodging (about 1/2 stop).

    HTH. Good luck on your project. :)
    Beach Bum, Jan 27, 2006
  9. BD

    Beach Bum Guest

    Or really "good" flare. The diffused effect and reduced contrast can be
    nice. :)
    Beach Bum, Jan 27, 2006
  10. BD

    Frank ess Guest

    Frank ess, Jan 27, 2006
  11. BD

    Whiskers Guest

    Whiskers, Jan 27, 2006
  12. BD

    BD Guest

    Is this the effect you're talking about?

    Close - I'll make a point of digging something up this weekend for
    people to see what I'm on about.
    BD, Jan 27, 2006
  13. BD

    BD Guest

    Alright, I have to do this the hard way.

    There are shots on this site which have the effect I want. The shots
    are in galleries of thumbnails, which are easy to navigate but which
    have no direct links to them

    So - for those willing to take a moment:

    Go to

    select Wedding gallery
    4th column 5 down

    select Wedding gallery #2
    1st column, 3 down

    The lighting in these shots (and others in the gallery) is almost
    overwhelming in the background, and seems to wash out the edges of
    foreground objects. As well, the lighting is softened. I'm less
    confused about the softening than the actual lighting effect, because I
    can easily see how this can be accomplished in post if necessary. The
    lighting of the sky in these shots is the head-scratcher for me.

    Any comments as to how this effect can be achieved would be MUCH

    BD, Jan 27, 2006
  14. BD

    Beach Bum Guest

    Beach Bum, Jan 27, 2006
  15. BD

    BD Guest

    "diffuse glow"

    I'll give it a go. I haven't used that filter; presumably I'll have
    some control over where in the 'brightness' range the colors merge to

    The more I can do in post the better - I don't have a _problem_ with
    buying more filters, but given that I may be using any of 3 lenses with
    3 filter sizes, it makes sense for me to find a software process that
    can give much of the same result.

    Thanks much!
    BD, Jan 27, 2006
  16. BD

    Paul Furman Guest

    Or gaussian blur a copy of the layer then set to lighten mode & adjust
    Paul Furman, Jan 27, 2006
  17. BD

    Frank ess Guest

    That works, too.

    Oh. I see.

    Yup. Indubitably serendipitous.

    Frank ess
    "I can't sing,
    but I know how to,
    which is quite different."
    -- Noel Coward
    Frank ess, Jan 27, 2006
  18. BD

    BD Guest

    Or gaussian blur a copy of the layer then set to lighten mode & adjust opacity.

    Yeah, I found a tutorial on that today - gives a similar softness, but
    it doesn't 'wash out' the sunlight in the same way - unless I dodge the
    blurred layer around where the sky is...?
    BD, Jan 27, 2006
  19. BD

    Pat Guest

    I would try the nylon-stocking-over-the-lens trick. As mentioned, an
    oldie but goody. Slightly different than a filter, though, because it
    can give a slight star to a point light.

    I think you are looking for overexposed shot with a soft filter and a
    lot of soft backlighting. Try it at home and post it with your
    comments so we can take a look.

    You can't get 100% that shot like a upscale wedding photographer
    because he/she would probably use a soft-focus lenses.

    Another option is to use a clear filter and smear a bit of vasoline
    (petroleum gelly) around the edge. That can give a soft/diffused
    outside and a sharp inside. It's another oldie. And you don't need
    Pat, Jan 27, 2006
  20. BD

    BD Guest

    I will try some variants - I'll also try some Photoshop work with RAWs
    I already have, to see what I can accomplish in Post.

    I do tend to lean towards the software solution - simply because if I
    use a physical effect like a stocking or vaseline, I have to get it
    right 'at the time', rather than being able to work with it slowly
    until it's the way I want it. And the stocking/vaseline options can't
    be un-done!

    But, that's coming from a guy who hasn't tried these options. I guess I
    should at least give them a go before writing the notion off.

    If anything shows promise, I'll post links.

    Thanks for all the assistance!!

    BD, Jan 27, 2006
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