Cedar Waxwings and a Few Words on Soft Focus (Three Photographs)
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While tack sharp photographs are popular they may not always be the best solution. Some portraits in the past were taken with clear filters covered in Vaseline or a cloth was placed over the lens to give a soft-focus look. Some lenses were designed to enable careful de-focusing and now software has fade filters and other tools that can do the same thing. Negative clarity on portraits is particularly effective in doing essentially the same thing. Waxwings are notoriously tough to get sharp because of the nature of the oils on their wings. In these shots the camera focus was as likely to catch on the foreground leaves as on the bird. No measure of sharpening is going to remove the impression of softness on these birds. Two conclusions, there are times when a perfectly sharpened shot can work, and secondly that sometimes we will not get the focus we would like but that is not always a reason to discard the file.