Many who try to create a glow effect in their shots will end up with something closer to soft focus. Here's how one photographer gets a dreamy feel to his images, without sacrificing sharpness or important details.
There was a time where you would see soft focus everywhere. It was a fair few decades back now, but for many of us, we grew up seeing professional portraits of relatives on the wall where the image looked like the camera had cataracts. I grew up hating that aesthetic so strongly that I always ran as fast as I could in the opposite direction with my images. However, there is a "look" that isn't uncommon in modern photography and videography that has a dreamy feel to it. The highlights seem to bloom like a video game, but contrast and detail are retained. So, how is this done?
Well, there is more than one way, but the best way I know of happens to also be the way photographer and YouTuber, Vuhlandes, achieves it: a Pro-Mist Filter. The Tiffen Black Pro-Mist 1/4 Filter range is the most common and can be highly effective in creating that look. However, as you can see in even Tiffen's example images, it's far too easy to fall into the soft focus look. As Vuhlandes explains in his video — and he really has mastered the filter in my opinion — you're not looking to wash your image out, but rather achieve a subtler effect.
Do you use a Pro-Mist filter? Why or why not? Share your thoughts in the comments below.