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Most of the time when photographing outdoors I'm trying to avoid the wind, and hoping there won't be any wind, or at least not enough wind, to move the subject that I'm photographing. But sometimes you might actually find a wind effect, to be a little bit interesting, an I'm not talking about a motion blur effect caused by wind moving a subject around, but rather by a wind filter in Photoshop. Let's take a look. I'll start off by creating a copy of my background image layer. Dragging that layer down to the Create New Layer button, at the bottom of the Layers panel. And then, from the Filter menu, I'll choose Stylize followed by Wind, that will bring up the Wind dialog.
I can choose whether I want Wind, Blast, or Stagger as the method for the effect, and I can choose whether I want the direction to be From the right, so you can see that the blast is moving over toward the left, or from the left, so that, that blast affect is happening over toward the right. But I'm not able to adjust the strength of the effect. Effectively, the method, sort of, effects the strength. You can see that blast is a little bit stronger than wind, for example, and stagger creates this, sort of, jagged pattern, this sort of back and forth rippling effect. For this image, I think I'll use the blast effect and I'll set the direction to from the right, and then with those settings established, I'll go ahead and click OK.
You can see, very simple to apply this effect and it creates an interesting sort of painterly effect in the photo. Not exactly a wind blur but more of a blast of pixels coming off of the subject in the photo. But you can also apply a variety of different adjustments in order to enhance this effect. One option that I tend to take a look at in many situations when I'm working with creative effects is the difference blend modes. So at the top of the Layers panel, I'll click the Pop up for Blend mode and choose Difference from that pop up. And that gives us a sort of opal lessen.
Almost psychedelic dark interpretation of the photo, because we're only seeing pixel values where there is a difference between the background copy layer, and the original pixel values on the background layer, and those pixels are displayed as the difference in value between the pixels on the upper layer and the lower layer. So a very interesting effect I'd say for this particular image. And just one of the many possibilities for how you might choose to work with the wind filter.
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