Dreamy Soft Focus Using Plastic Wrap

When almost everything can be done digitally with Photoshop, a few digital textures and actions, we sometimes forget how fun and interesting it can be making certain effects on our photos in-camera.

This is a technique I’ve seen used by film photographers to create a dream-like soft focus on their photos, but it can be used just as easily with a DSLR and even with Point & Shoot or cellphone cameras.

Dreamy Soft Focus using Plastic Wrap

Dreamy Soft Focus using Plastic Wrap

Soft Focus Using Plastic Wrap

You will need:

  • Several layers of Plastic Wrap/Cling Film
  • An elastic band or hair tie.

Simply cover the front of your lens with plastic wrap and use an elastic band to secure it in place. You can use one layer of plastic wrap for a subtler effect, or several layers for an even softer or more abstract effect.

If you choose, you can use the plastic wrap over your lens more loosely and wrinkle it a little to add some interesting blurring and light effects like the photos above.

You can try this with any of your lenses, I used both my 50mm and macro lenses for these photographs. I also tried it with manual focus or auto focus and both worked just as well.

The advantage of trying this technique with a digital camera is that you have more opportunity to experiment with different materials. Try heavier plastic such as cellophane, different layers of plastic wrap or even try smearing a little vaseline onto the plastic wrap after it is on your camera (being very careful not to get any of it on your camera or lens) for different effects.

Dreamy Soft Focus using Plastic Wrap

Dreamy Soft Focus using Plastic Wrap

Feeling uninspired and want to try some interesting, creative photography ideas? Kristi of Live and Love out Loud and I will be sharing some fun photography tutorials in this Creative Photography mini-series to help you start thinking beyond the lens.

Head on over to Live and Love Out Loud today where Kristi is sharing a tutorial on shooting through colourful scarves to create a beautiful, ethereal effect in your photos.

Creative Photography

If any of you try this tutorial, or have done something like this before,  I’d love it if you would post the link in the comments so that I can take a look!


  1. Ok seriously! You two are very cool photographers!!!! I love this! I’m totally inspired to try this!


  2. Wow! That is so amazing….I can’t wait to try this tomorrow. I’m so glad I found you through Kristi’s site. I’m definitely going to follow and read through your blog.

    Jules @ADoseofJules´s last post ..Project 52: Layers

  3. Pingback: How to Create Ethereal, Color-Infused Photos Using Scarves

  4. Sherrie

    Love it, but you should consider a Pin link. It is easy and will create allot more traffic for you

  5. Pingback: Photography Tutorial: How to Create Shaped Bokeh

Comments are closed.