Experimenting with Motion Blur

Vertical motion blur on aspen trees, 1/13 second @ f/22.
Vertical motion blur on aspen trees, 1/13 second @ f/22.

By Sastry Karra and Frank Gallagher

Motion blur is the intentional use of a streaking effect in a photo. This can be done in several ways.  One technique is panning, following a rapidly moving subject with your camera so that the subject is reasonably sharp, but the background is streaky. This conveys a sense of movement and speed. So does its opposite: keeping the camera steady while the subject moves across the frame. Doing a long exposure shot of star trails, clouds, a waterfall, the waves on a beach, or a highway at night is another kind of motion blur. The water or clouds become silky. The stars or car lights become colorful lines, winding through the image, leading the eye. A third technique is zoom blur, where the camera is stationary but you zoom in during the exposure. A fourth involves purposeful camera movement—horizontal, vertical, or circular—to create interesting patterns, textures, shapes. In this article, we focus on the latter two techniques, zoom blur and purposeful camera movement.

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Weekly Wow! Week of July 6, 2020

Showcase 2020 Top 100 winner: "Burrowing Owl Catching a Figeater Beetle” © Sha Lu
Showcase 2020 Top 100 winner: “Burrowing Owl Catching a Figeater Beetle” © Sha Lu

All of this week’s Weekly Wow! images can be seen in the slideshow on the NANPA homepage at nanpa.org.

The following Showcase images have been selected to appear on the NANPA home page for the week beginning Monday, July 6, 2020.  To view all of the top 250 photographs from NANPA’s 2020 Showcase competition, see the photo gallery on the NANPA website. The 2020 edition of Expressions contains all of the top 250 photos from the Showcase competition as well as interesting and insightful articles. Order your copy here!

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Blurred Lines: More Creative Projects For the “Involuntary” Homebound

Same image with Gaussian blur combined with Motion blur filter.
Gaussian blur combined with Motion blur filter.

Story & photos by F.M. Kearney

At the time of this writing, most of the country is tentatively beginning to open up. Although more and more people are slowly starting to venture out, things are nowhere near normal. Millions, however, are still living under “stay-at-home” restrictions, and only venturing out for essentials – which does not often include outdoor nature photography. It makes for very long days that seem to blur together. That gave me another idea on how to alter existing images. My past couple of articles have dealt with creative ways to pass the time if you’re unable (or unwilling) to spend too much time outside. Last month, I discussed ways to use texture to enhance your images. In this article, I’ll illustrate how the various blur filters in Photoshop can dramatically alter an image (including texture, as well).

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Weekly Wow! Week of March 30, 2020

Showcase 2020 Top 100 winner: "Western Grebe Female Offers Her Chick a Feather to Eat” © Diane McAllister.
Showcase 2020 Top 100 winner: “Western Grebe Female Offers Her Chick a Feather to Eat” © Diane McAllister.

All of this week’s Weekly Wow! images can be seen in the slideshow on the NANPA homepage at nanpa.org.

The following Showcase images have been selected to appear on the NANPA home page for the week beginning Monday, March 30, 2020.  To view all of the top 250 photographs from NANPA’s 2020 Showcase competition, see the photo gallery on the NANPA website. The 2020 edition of Expressions contains all of the top 250 photos from the Showcase competition as well as interesting and insightful articles. Order your copy here!

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