Flower of the Day – 5th November 2018 – How to achieve softness


For my entry today into Cee’s Flower of the Day, I thought I would use this apricot rose, which was photographed at Riverhill Himalayan Gardens in Kent.

How to achieve the softness

On a post I made called, Finding my Passion in Floral Photography, one of my readers posted the comment below.

November 5, 2018
Woow you’re so talented. What did you use to make the pink rose (6th photo) so soft, if not a secret?

First of all, some photographers don’t like to share their processing techniques.. but I’m not one of them.  I have no problems is sharing my processing techniques and please feel free to ask me how I do things.  I will share my tips with you freely.

For the majority of my floral photography, the images are processed in Lightroom and very rarely do I use other software on them.

The Clarity and Exposure Sliders is the answer to the question added with a lot of radial and graduated filters. Below is the SOOC image.


First of all, I crop the image..  do my Transformation etc and choose a profile and do my basic editing.  Then in the basic panel, I take my clarity slider right down to -100 and also my exposure down to a negative number.  Yes, you end up with a dark looking image which is very soft. But don’t fear you will be bringing light and a little clarity back into the image in the next step by adding loads and loads of radial filters.

radial filters

By adjusting the Exposure and Clarity sliders you being back bits of clarity and light to the image.

If necessary, sometimes I add a graduated filter and control the clarity of the image.

graduated filter

As you can see in the image above, I wanted more clarity to the bottom half of the image, so I started my graduated filter outside of the image in the grey area and then dragged the filter to affect only that part of the image.


If I wanted the graduated filter and clarity to affect the whole image… I would have created a filter, again on the outside of the image, to affect the whole image.

graduated filter 2.png

By using the graduated filter you can reduce the clarity further than the Basic Panel Clarity slider allows you to.  You can soften the image as much as you like with the graduated filter.  And then bring back clarity in parts using the radial filters.

I hope these little tips help you softening not just floral images, but any image you want softening.

6 responses to “Flower of the Day – 5th November 2018 – How to achieve softness”

  1. That’s an involved process. Corel Paintshop Pro has an effect called Vignette which does the same, which I use often, with one click and move the “handles” to get the effect you want


    1. Oh thanks for that info… I’ve never used Corel software … Might be worth looking into.


  2. […] I have been really enjoying the beauty of photographs posted by Bren at Ryan Photography. In her November 5th Flower of the Day post she describes how she post processes images using radial and graduated filters in Adobe Lightroom, […]

    Liked by 1 person

  3. […] The second picture used techniques described by Bren at Ryan Photography. […]

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Thank you for sharing the process! The result is absolutely beautiful. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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