Definition of soft focus in English:

soft focus

noun

  • Deliberate slight blurring or lack of definition in a photograph or movie.

    • ‘Early pictorialists thought photographs should be derivative of painting, with moody lighting and soft focus.’
    • ‘At other times, a profile is little more than a close-up shot in soft focus.’
    • ‘The opening scene of the Agony in the Garden, in mist and soft focus, gives us a great sense of the dramatic, and forewarns us that no sound or visual effect will be spared.’
    • ‘Delightfully conceived and beautifully shot; the camera pushing in closely with soft focus and colours a-blur, it captures Peter's carefree frame of mind perfectly.’
    • ‘More convincing as the trace of some optical method of working is the undeniable fact that certain areas in Vermeer's pictures, especially in the foreground, are rendered in very soft focus.’
    • ‘Nicholson manages to convey the simultaneous ubiquity and otherness of photography through a kind of painterly soft focus that, in its cunning blandness, anticipates Gerhard Richter and Chuck Close.’
    • ‘The image seemed to be just a bit soft a lot of the time, so much so that it almost seems the movie was shot that way, in slightly soft focus.’
    • ‘The very filmic techniques used - soft focus, slow motion, and subtle colors - characterize the violence as romantic.’
    • ‘Different from the sharp detail of Myst's structures, the focus changes from sharp in wide shot to soft focus in close up, with hot-spot objects rendered in trompe l' oeil detail.’
    • ‘They'll call it a brilliant study, and talk about the beauty of the human body, how Altman contrasts the sinewy muscle of the dancers' bodies with velvety soft focus and lots of rose-coloured light.’
    • ‘The video quality isn't as sharp as newer films, but that may be the result of the film-makers' choice to render a lot of the movie in slightly soft focus.’
    • ‘After they'd had a quick look round Kensington Market at the weird and trendy clothes shops, Ian saw a poster on a wall - the face of Marlene Dietrich in soft focus.’
    • ‘Both slow exposure time, as process, and wide angle and soft focus, as imaging qualities, satisfied my predilection for the 19th century.’
    • ‘Some of the scenes in the film tended to border on oversaturation, and there were even instances where images looked like they were stuck in soft focus.’
    • ‘His experience is visible in the way he directs the gaze of the viewer to the desired spot - by keeping the details in soft focus.’
    • ‘Her portraits of artists George Frederick Watts and William Holman Hunt allowed her penchant for soft focus, ethereal lighting and smudgy printing to be read as aesthetic gravitas rather than amateurish error.’
    • ‘Hill took the opportunity to take a series of pictures of the men, where the blur of the image, created by the fibrous texture of the paper negative, soft focus and slight movement, gives a sense of life to the calotype.’
    • ‘Later, when he turned to more straightforward photography, he still used areas of soft focus to set off the subject.’
    • ‘Certainly the aesthetics of MTV are written all over the new channel: average length of shot a fraction of a second, extensive use of digital processes, thrusting zooms, soft-focus, back-lighting and silhouetting.’
    • ‘And the aforementioned disaster sites were shot by P. Elaine Sharp in soft focus to convey feelings of suspicion and to contrast the seemingly clear lens of investigative photography.’

adjective

soft-focus
  • 1Characterized by or producing a lack of definition.

    • ‘While the use of filters can be overdone by anyone, there are times when filters do help, and the center-spot soft focus filter is a great one to have in the bag.’
    • ‘We now see her face, enjoyed in close-up by the slightly soft-focus camera.’
    • ‘Andrzej Bartkowiak's soft focus photography creates quite an amount of grain in the picture and required extra care for the transfer to DVD.’
    • ‘Sure, it may seem overly convoluted, since we are treated to flashbacks within day/dream sequences, but with only about ten total scenes, each soft focus excursion is a rendezvous with irritation.’
    • ‘But there are more varieties of soft focus filters than there are adjectives describing them.’
    • ‘Two weeks later, a quieter, almost melancholic commercial debuted, featuring soft-focus footage of newly retired baseball legend Cal Ripken Jr., walking off the field with his daughter.’
    • ‘As a result of this smog, though, everything is like looking through a soft-focus lens and this becomes quite distracting after a while.’
    • ‘Zone plate negatives tend to look very soft with low contrast, yet they are not like soft focus lens imagery and their look is not at all like pinhole imagery.’
    • ‘The change is made more powerful by the way Lee shot the final scene: filtered with golden light and soft-focus lenses, a marked difference from the gritty cinematography constituting most of the film.’
    • ‘Much of their work was symbolic and romantic with an emphasis on soft-focus techniques, dark and moody lighting and the use of elaborate darkroom and printing techniques.’
    • ‘I also liked the intimate soft-focus split-screen close-ups Young used for all but one of the Scott and Amber phone conversations.’
    • ‘Scarlett Johannson is loved, with every due cause, by Coppola's camera, which seems to give her a soft-focus flourish every time Johannson takes a step or looks out a window.’
    • ‘The image takes on a soft-focus feel where my camera port has misted slightly through the thermocline.’
    • ‘The action switches to a luxurious villa in Thailand and we can be forgiven for thinking we've died and woken up in a 1980's Duran Duran video with every soft focus shot teeming with black ash furniture and tiger skin bedspreads.’
    • ‘Philippe Pache's photography - especially the one in the portfolio section - appeals to me because of its interplay between soft focus effects and a very effective use of light.’
    • ‘However, the rest of the film veers into something more conventional with shorter takes, soft-focus camerawork, and traditional linear narrative.’
    • ‘Looking at all of these through the camera they found soft-focus effects, and circles of confusion on the lion's head, following Vermeer's rendering closely in their positions and shapes.’
    • ‘Nature features prominently in Autumnal Suite and displays Patrick's skills in soft-focus, wide-angle and almost abstract photography.’
    • ‘Here are some tips for using soft-focus filters.’
    • ‘There is some grain, but it is a natural effect of soft-focus photography and easily acceptable.’
    1. 1.1 Denoting a point of view or style of presentation that obscures or avoids sharp definition in order to be more widely acceptable.
      ‘soft-focus, nonpolitical essays about American life’
      • ‘I was content to follow orders, anticipating some soft-focus, Zen-Hallmark epiphany, a shimmering new apprehension of my own goodness, or smallness, or something.’
      • ‘Perhaps it is comforting to know that John Major's soft-focus view of Britain replete with warm beer and old maids cycling to church does exist somewhere.’
      • ‘In the past decade, the artistic director of TheatreWorks, Singapore's first professional stage company, has moved from soft-focus looks at the Lion City to multimedia, multicultural presentations around the world.’
      • ‘A Scot long domiciled in California, Fraser presents a skilled, soft-focus take on the traditions of Scots fiddle, and here brings his young protégé Haas' cello centre-stage.’
      • ‘So we take a walk in the rain-washed city - admiring its colonial architecture that acquires a new dimension, a kind of soft focus look, through curtains of rain.’
      • ‘In the hands of most other film-makers, Innocence could be a real disaster, a soft-focus sentimental story for the midday movie or some romance cable channel.’
      • ‘Instead, Pacino brings a soft-focus desperation and world-weariness to his beleaguered character, who just wants the industry to acknowledge his talent.’
      • ‘Maybe it is more instructive to ask instead why it is that the chemistry of that age was seen, both by its contemporary practitioners and by later chroniclers, through the soft-focus lens of Romanticism.’
      • ‘Sweet Sixteen presents a raw, no-frills slice of West of Scotland life just as it is, a human, humane and grimly humorous story from the rough end, far removed from the soft-focus Scottish tourism adverts.’
      • ‘While Friends Reunited fosters a soft-focus view of school life, many of us remember the harsh reality.’
      • ‘Twenty-five years ago, at Vassar, where we met, she was a pretty, plumpish hippie girl, with a soft-focus interest in music, painting, creative writing.’
      • ‘Last season's fixation with soft focus subtlety has been replaced with bold new colours in a dramatic Eighties style.’
      • ‘The grinning imbeciles featured on Levitra's website indicate that not only will Levitra make you much happier; it will also transport you to a soft-focus cloud-wrapped fantasy world.’
      • ‘The bigger issue is that 1917 reads like either a soft-focus prelude or a rehashed coda to The Deep, and as such it is swamped by the structural and tonal complexity of the former.’
      • ‘The familiar soft-focus genre-blending, now with added electro, is peppered with deadpan aphorisms from actor Michael Jayston; though hit-and-miss, they enhance the peculiarly English ambience.’
      • ‘Tunes here draw on Indian, Jamaican, Brazilian, French and various other geographical reference points, but it all gets bogged down in lazy, monotonous beats and soft-focus keys.’
      • ‘A soft-focus hue drifts around the trees and undergrowth, the light becomes diffuse, the shadows deepen.’
      • ‘How many of us have golden, soft-focus memories of Laura Ashley in the early Seventies - all our teenage days in sprigged cotton frocks, Edwardian lace blouses, pavement-sweeping skirts and bare feet?’
      • ‘The Notebook is soft-focus schmaltz, a very familiar tune played with minor variations, based on a book by known syrup merchant Nicholas Sparks (A Walk to Remember, Message in a Bottle).’
      • ‘By episode two, Danny's soft-focus angst expands to include Greg, his old school friend, who didn't run away to join the Marines like Danny, but instead went to work in Danny's father's firm.’

Pronunciation

soft focus

/sɔft ˈfoʊkəs//sôft ˈfōkəs/