TRICK: Making your own soft focus filter
Because of the way soft focus filters work, it’s actually very easy to make your own, so if you don’t fancy spending money on the real thing, here is an idea that you can experiment with:Breathing on the lens
The easiest and quickest way to create soft focus is simply by breathing on the UV filter placed on to the front element of your lens. The condensation that forms on the lens or filter adds a misty effect, which is heavy initially, but becomes more subtle as the condensation clears. The moisture from breathing on a lens doesn’t last long, only a few seconds in a dry environment, so you’ll have to work quickly. For a longer lasting effect take the lens off the camera, breathe on the rear lens element, and put back on the camera.
To make the most of this, watch through your camera viewfinder, and when the effect looks pleasing, take the picture.
You can try adding the soft focus effect in digital post-production as well. There are some excellent techniques for doing so. In my experience, there is a difference between shooting through something diffused, like a soft focus filter or a hazy lens, and creating soft focus in the computer. The effect of light coming through a fog filter, or a foggy lens, is a magical look that is difficult to replicate faithfully in digital post-production.