Soft Light Effect

In this tutorial I’ll show you how you can add fantasy soft light effect to your photos in Photoshop. You will learn how you can soften skin without blurring it, reducing skin flaws and blemishes and working with beautiful soft light effects. You’ll also learn how you can use adjustment layers to make your ordinary photos more beautiful.

Tutorial Resources

Step 1

Let’s start by opening up your photos in Photoshop. I am using girl image for this tutorial and but you can use any photos to get started.

Here we have the image of girl opened in Photoshop.


Step 2

We’ll first retouch the skin and we’ll clean up all the spot from the skin using Spot Healing Brush Tool (J). But before we do that, I recommend you to duplicate the girl layer and it’ll help you to keep the backup of original layer (in the case of anything goes wrong). So duplicate the girl layer and name it ‘Spot Heal’.


Step 3

Now activate the Spot Healing Brush tool by pressing (J) on the keyboard. If you are not familiar with this tool and then you can read our Photoshop Basic level tutorial to get used to it.
In the below image blue circle indicating blemishes and spots on the skin. We should use Spot Healing tool exactly on these parts to heal the spots. To heal the spot just simply click on it and heal it.


Step 4

You may notice there is also unwanted spot on the hand and arm of the girl as indicated by red circle. Use the Spot Heal brush as well here to heal the spot. You can also use the Clone Stamp tool (S) to retouch skin. Have some patience while retouching the skin.


Step 5

Here are the results on the girl with healed spot and reduced skin flaws.


Here are the overall results.


Softening the Skin

Step 6

The girl skin looks perfect and now we are going to soften it using Gaussian Blur filter. So first duplicate the ‘Spot Heal’ layer and rename it ‘Blur’. Now select Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur and then set the radius value to 7px. The radius value is not fixed to use, you can alter the radius value according your needs.


Step 7

Here is the blur layer with 100% opacity.


Now reduce the opacity to 30% and here are the results with the softening effects. You can also play with opacity to determine that how much blur you needed on the photo.


Step 8

Using the Gaussian Blur filter we have got the soften skin but there are some parts of the girl that needed to soften. We’ll soften all the parts of girl where it should be, by manually applying Gaussian Blur filter to each portion of skin. We’ll do that using Lasso Tool (L) . So activate the Lasso Tool (L) and set the feather value to 20px on the option bar.


Step 9

Now duplicate the ‘Blur’ layer and name it ‘blur image’. Drag it below the ‘Blur’ layer using Move Tool (V).


Now make the selection of those parts of the skin, where you think that there skin needed to soften (make sure you’ve selected the ‘Blur Image’ layer). Like I found it under the right eye and then I selected that portion using Lasso Tool (L) . After that go to Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur and set the radius value to 5px (feel free to set it according to your needs) and then soften that area.

Here are the results with soften skin portion.




  1. This was excellent and taught so much. Would really appreciate it if you could post even more. This is my favorite site to learn from

    1. Thanks Red! Will keep posting the new tutorials soon (I am very busy this month)!
      Thanks again for your comment and it’s more than a comment as it makes me keep going.

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