One of the challenges we all face as photographers is conveying the excitement of action scenes in a still image. In the eye-opening tutorial below you’ll learn an easy method for bringing life to outdoor images with a little help from Photoshop.
Photographer Skyler Ewing is known for a dramatic use of color, and she’s also an expert in giving images an impactful sense of movement. In the episode below she demonstrates how to completely transform action photos with an easy-to-achieve creative blur effect.
Ewing is a strong proponent of thoughtful image editing, explaining that “It’s not about the image we take; it’s about the image we let others see.” In other words, there’s no reason to feel guilty about enhancing your photographs to better tell a story. As you’ll see in this video, she does exactly that while retaining a natural look.
Ewing says she was inspired to use this editing technique after experimenting with intentional camera movement during long exposures to create a sense of motion. She provides examples of those results, and then explains why getting the job done in Photoshop is faster, easier, and equally effective.
The method you’ll see here enables you to maintain sharp focus on your main subject, while blurring the background in a way that implies movement. Ewing begins by separating her model from the background using Photoshop’s Select Subject tool.
The next step is placing the main subject on it’s own layer, which makes everything that follows easier to accomplish. After making subtle adjustments to her selection she places it back on the background in preparation for adding the motion-blur effect.
You’ll see how to accomplish that, with helpful keyboard shortcuts to speed up the process, by watching the rest of the video.
Ewing’s YouTube channel is worth visiting when you’re done, because it includes a wide variety of tips and tricks.
And don’t miss another image-editing tutorial we posted recently, explaining how to properly edit photographs shot at high ISO settings.