Join Chris Orwig for an in-depth discussion in this video Adding pan motion to a photograph, part of Photoshop for Photographers: Creative Effects.
In the previous chapter we looked at how we could increase visual interest by using those filters which are part of the blur gallery. Well, here in this chapter, we're going to take a look at how we can add speed or motion or drama to our photographs by using some other popular blur filters. We'll start off with this photograph of this world-class athlete and here what I want to do is I want to add some motion to this picture. This is a photograph that I captured in the wind tunnel in San Diego when he was doing some aerodynamic testing. So I just want to add a little bit more of a sense of speed here.
To do that let's copy the background layer, press Command+J on a Mac, or Ctrl+J on Windows, and let's name this top layer Motion. Next, we'll navigate to our Filter pulldown menu, here we're going to select Blur, and we'll go pass the blur gallery filters. Let's make our way down to Motion blur. This is a really popular blur filter for photographers, because what it allows us to do is to add kind of this panning blur after the fact. You can see that we can control the overall angle and the distance of the blur.
If you change the angle you can see how the blur is now going top to bottom. So here we could create a little bit of an angle, so we can see that, we can also increase the overall distance. Now as you increase this more and more what you start to see is how this filter works. You can see kind of what the back wheel here that it's pushing it back and forward. It's changing this in different directions. You can see if we go before and after it's moving it forward and backwards. You have to keep that in mind because what we might need to do is mask this in just to one part of our photograph.
Well let's go ahead and create an angle, which is pretty straightforward. I'm just going to create an angle that's probably close to zero. Then I'm going to decrease the distance here. I just want to subtle blur effect and then click OK in order to apply that. Well, now that we have that effect on a separate layer we can see the before and then now the after. Well, that's nice except obviously it's blurring too much. So what I want to do is just mask this blur into certain areas. So let's click on the Add layer mask icon, next press the B key to select your Brush tool. With the Brush tool what we want to do is choose a brush which has a really nice soft edge so no hardness, we'll choose a pretty big brush and also our opacity we'll leave it pretty close to about 100.
I'm going to take mine to about 80% or so. Next, with this we'll go ahead and just start to paint back in some of the detail in this photograph. As you remember the blur is going to move in both directions. I don't want blur to be moving forward because that doesn't make sense rather I want to make sure the blur is just kind of coming off of the back of this particular photograph for this rider here. Here I'll press the left bracket key to decrease the brush size, and I'm just going to bring in a little bit more detail in a couple areas in the photograph.
And it's kind of fun because you can pan in detail and to the leading edge here, you can start to see how we have this blur and how we're trailing it off over there on the other side. Well, now that we have that you can see here's the before and then there is the after. To bring in more blur if we remove too much we'll just press the X key or flip those to by clicking on this icon to switch it to white, and then you can bring back in a little bit more blur if you want perhaps a touch more in certain areas. So in that way you can just kind of customize it.
Bring it in exactly where you want it. Well, now that we have that blur, now that we can see our before and after, the only other thing that you might want to do with this is you might want to experiment a little bit with moving this entire layer. What I mean by that is if you select the Move tool you can then use your left arrow key and just nudge it a little bit. See how I'm nudging that kind of pulling the blur back. I'm obviously moving too far here, but you can start to see how we you can push it back a little bit so that that blur is pushing to the left rather than moving forward.
And in this way it's trailing off in a better way. Well, there you have it, a quick and easy way to add motion blur to your photographs.
- Combining HDR (high dynamic range) toning with color effects
- Improving color with Curves and Color Balance
- Creating drama with lighting effects
- Adding realistic lens flare
- Creating a luminance blur
- Blending and masking in motion
- Performing HDR toning and black and white conversions
- Combining infrared with contrast and sharpness
- Crafting vintage color
- Adding borders and edges to a photo
- Finding and installing custom brushes and plug-ins