BetterPhoto.com - Become a better photographer today!
EMAIL:
PASSWORD:
remember me:     
     


BetterPhoto Q&A
Category: New Questions

To participate in the Forum, become a BetterPhoto member or Sign In.

 
Photography Question 
Pat Wimpee

member since: 1/23/2003
 

Photoshop: Motion Blur


I'm trying to do a picture for my husband for Christmas of him on his motorcycle. I want it to show a motion blur with movement streaks behind the motorcycle. So far, I haven't figured out how to do this and really look cool. Does anybody have any suggestions on how I can achieve this? I appreciate anyone's help on this. Thanks.

11/24/2005 8:07:10 PM

 
Bob Fately

member since: 4/11/2001
  Well, Pat, it sounds like the effect you're going for has to do with taking a nighttime shot, and setting your flash to synch with the rear shutter curtain.

That is - first, you'll need to find a stretch of road you can use in the evening, as to get the streaky look you'll want a slow shutter speed. Imagine having the shutter open for a full second - but to do that it needs to be fairly dark. Next, you need to mount the camera on a tripod, since you don't want to introduce blur from your side. The streaks you speak of are the blur caused by his motion across your field of view.
Finally, since it is dark (see above), you'll need to use a flash to get a sharp and clear image of your hubby. The rear curtain synch I mentioned relates to timing of the flash - rather than it "popping" as soon as the shutter opens, it waits until the full second is over and then "pops" when the shutter just starts to close.
The net result is the bike crossing your field of view is blurry, with whatever small amount of ambient lighting (or its own head-and-tail-lights) causing the streak effect. And then the flash goes off, simultaneously freezing the motion and properly exposing the shot.

And plan to take a gaggle of shots attempting to do this - my 1 second shutter speed is merely an example; you need to experiment with shutter speeds, motorcycle speeds, distance to subject & angle of view, etc.
Good luck!

11/24/2005 9:28:39 PM

 
Gregory LaGrange
BetterPhoto Member
gregorylagrange.org

member since: 11/11/2003
  Photoshop has motion blur as one of its filters.

11/25/2005 12:45:53 AM

 
Pat Wimpee

member since: 1/23/2003
  Thanks for the tips, Bob. I'll definitely give that a try.
Gregory- I tried the motion blur in Photoshop, but I can't get streaks behind the bike! The wheels spin real good, tho :)
Off to freeze my husband this weekend!!

11/25/2005 7:43:08 AM

 
Gregory LaGrange
BetterPhoto Member
gregorylagrange.org

member since: 11/11/2003
  You blur a separate layer and erase to blend in with the bike.

11/25/2005 12:42:08 PM

 
Pat Wimpee

member since: 1/23/2003
  Oh- I should have thought of that, Gregory!! Thanks, I'll try it.

11/25/2005 2:31:03 PM

 
Roy Blinston
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 1/4/2005
  Nobody has mentioned "panning" with natural light slow motion. You will not need a flash or a tripod... just patience and trial and error to get your panning speed to match the bike speed... plus maybe a weak flash to finish it off (trailing).

11/29/2005 11:10:10 PM

 
Gregory LaGrange
BetterPhoto Member
gregorylagrange.org

member since: 11/11/2003
  Think she would already know how to pan. But that's a different look than what she made it sound like she was asking about.

11/30/2005 12:48:49 AM

 
Aaron  Reyes
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 2/8/2005
  It seems panning would be more what she's looking for. She wants a motion blur behind the bike. Can't see the background too well if it's dark. Both ways would look sweet. Might still need a flash on 2nd curtain depending on the lighting anyways...
Pat: make sure if you are panning, with either technique, to follow through as you take the picture. Don't stop following the bike abruptly after clicking the shutter.
With the motion blur in photoshop, you could try the extract filter to separate the bike from the background. There are many ways to go about it. Try them out! good luck!
-aaron

12/3/2005 8:15:28 AM

 
Roy Blinston
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 1/4/2005
  I think both methods would work together (do both). Take some pics panning (keep moving after the shuttter... add a trailing "weak" flash. Then in Photoshop, add a layer, give the new top layer a motion blur... then paint out what you want to remain sharp using soft brush (ie: his face or smile or whatever).
If you take the shot in a busy main street with lots of street and shop lights, you will have plenty of ambient light to illuminate everything.
Sometimes using the Photoshop blur alone can look a bit false/contrived. Using the two methods will give you ultimate control.

12/3/2005 8:46:22 AM

 

To participate in the Forum, become a BetterPhoto member or Sign In.
 

Copyright 1996-2014 BetterPhoto.com, Inc. All Rights Reserved.