This is a great three step method for adding a soft focus lens filter effect in Photoshop.
Perhaps you wish you would have used your soft focus filter on a crisp landscape photo, or a portrait. Maybe you don’t own a soft focus filter. This tutorial will educate you on how to quickly add a soft focus effect.
We’re going to use this photo of some trees and a pond. I got this photo from some stock site which says I can’t redistribute it, so you can’t have it!
Open the photo you wish to add a soft focus to. Create a duplicate layer in the layers palette by pressing Ctrl-J (Mac: Command J).
Click “Filter” at the top of photoshop to bring up the “Filters Menu” drop-down. Select Blur/Gaussian Blur. If you’re working with a high resolution image you’ll want to enter 20 pixels in the Gaussian Blur menu pop-up box. For lower resolution images, select something like 6-10 pixels and click OK.
Don’t freak out that your photo is all blurred out, we’re going to fix that in this last step. Go to the layers palette and bring the opacity on your copied layer down to about 50%. You should now have a soft image with a dreamy glow to it. Check my before and after pictures below to get an idea of what your end result should look like.