I see photos of this style all the time and I simply can't work out how they create the warmth and softness without sacrificing the sharpness! Is it a filter in a image app, is it a filter? I just can't fathom it.

I've tried modifying curves in Lightroom and tried some filters, but I cannot do this no matter what I try.



2 Answers 2


This is a duotone/split-tone image (between pink(ish) and green(ish)) + black.

The contrast is lowered, and colors are replaced from a gradient between pink and green.

You see this as "soft" because of reduced saturation, reduced contrast and reduced color jumps.

You see this as warm because the black point is increased (consequence of the reduced contrast) and also the color temperature is a bit lowered.

Maybe this page can help you with achieving this effect.

  • 1
    Thanks for that.It looks like I've been going about this backwards, I've been upping the saturation and the contrast!
    – alexs
    Feb 25, 2014 at 12:37

The soft look in this image comes from the blurred fore- and background. This is achieved by using a comparatively open aperture (f/3.2 on APS-C), and a rather close focus distance. (I would guess something between 1.5 and 2.5m). This results in a more shallow Depth-of-Field (DOF) of about 40cm (The woman is in focus and sharp, whereas the grass in front of her and behind her isn't).

The "warm" Look comes from lower contrast and a very "warm" white balance.

  • 1
    I'd say it's not so much wide open aperture i.e. shallow DOF as well-managed DOF. All of the woman is in focus (requiring a reasonable amount of DOF), but the grass is before and behind her and is therefore blurred. Feb 25, 2014 at 12:43
  • 1
    In fact, the aperture used was f/3.2 (it says so right on the page), and the "bigger sensor size" is Canon APS-C (1.6 crop factor), and the focal length was 50mm, so this is (approximately) equivalent to shooting an 85mm on full-frame at f/4.5-f/5 (one-third down from f/4 or one-third up from f/5.6), or 40mm on μ4/3 somewhere between f/2 and f/2.8. You'd even have to stop down the Nikon 1 32mm f/1.2 to get the same DoF.
    – user2719
    Feb 25, 2014 at 13:06
  • Thanks for the feedback, I have rewritten my answer to make clearer what I initially wanted to say.
    – Vertigo
    Feb 26, 2014 at 11:58

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