Old Tricks Anew - Use Vaseline and Pantyhose For Soft Focus Photos

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This is a trick that goes way back to the early days of photography and video.  If you're looking for a nice soft focus around the edges of your shot, Vaseline is a simple way to do it.

You'll commonly hear the practice referred to as putting Vaseline on the lens, but you really don't want to go around smearing anything on your nice expensive lenses.  Grab a cheap UV filter though, and carefully smear some of the gooey stuff around the edge for the effect.

The Vaseline trick - though other similar substances would certainly work - creates a soft focus and a dream-like effect. You've almost certainly seen it used in old films and portrait photography to soften the image a bit.

If you're averse to smearing goop all over your filter, try the old trick of stretching pantyhose across your lens for a soft focus across the entire lens, rather than just around the edges.  It's another trick that's as old as it gets, but it may be just what you're looking for.