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Creating a Sense of Warmth and Softness in Photos

Benjamin Perlin

Nashville photography enthusiast Benjamin Perlin has a collection of traditional film cameras and uses darkroom techniques in creating original images. One aspect of photography in which Benjamin Perlin is particularly interested involves taking pictures with a soft appearance.

A basic aspect of achieving this effect centers on adjusting the flash’s brightness downward in an outdoor setting. The subtle interplay of natural and artificial light imbues the subject with a smoothness and softness. A long exposure is also useful in creating a softened, slightly out-of-focus effect that creates a sense of warmth in pictures. Evening and sunrise are times of day when the quality of natural light alone produces a similar sense of warmth.
Another way to achieve such an effect is through a light diffuser, which places a filter between light sources and the subject. This technique is most suited to artificial light environments, though it can also be used effectively in natural light.
Another element with which to experiment when looking to produce just the right amount of softness is depth of field. When the aperture provides a narrow depth of field, the picture beyond the subject goes out of focus, thereby creating warmth.

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