© Pamela K


Uploaded: November 30, 2006


Sandhill crane gliding past fall tamarisk (salt cedar)
Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge

Background blurred in Photoshop using motion blur (see discussion for details)


Pamela K November 30, 2006

I blurred the background to reduce the complexity which was interfering with the crane.

To blur the background, I made a duplicate layer of the entire photo, selected the crane using the magnetic lasso and lasso, erased the crane off of the top layer, and applied a motion blur to the background. I erased the crane to avoid having the crane's edges blurred.

Here is what the background would look like without the blur.

Pam #565035

Cary Rogers November 30, 2006

Very nice work, Pam! A wonderful capture of this beautiful bird made even more effective by use of the motion blur! and Thanks for sharing your technique! #3651114

Jeff Robinson level-deluxe November 30, 2006

Outstanding work Pam! Your blur tool really did the trick and making this an amazing image; Great job! Jeff #3651261

Linda McLellan November 30, 2006

This is very nice and how kind of you to explain how you achieved this! I do appreciate this so that I can try new techniques also. #3651353

Ellen Hodges level-deluxe November 30, 2006

Great job! #3651417

Ronald F. Fischer November 30, 2006

Awesome capture and PS work, Pam!! Thank you so much for sharing the technique! #3651424

Shawn M. Marymee November 30, 2006


I think you have another winner on your hands! I even made my husband come look at it. lol.

Shawn #3651538

Christina C. Moore November 30, 2006

Simply wonderful! I hope it wins. #3651821

Jessica L. Richard November 30, 2006

wow, great capture and ps work! #3651987

Paul G Slate November 30, 2006

Wow Pam Awsome job !!! #3652120

Karacan Salkuci (Kalacay) December 02, 2006

Wonderful image. #3659537

Pamela K December 02, 2006

Thank you, Cary, Jeff, Linda, Ellen, Ronald, Shawn, Christina, Jessica, Paul, and Kara!!!!!!!! I'm glad you all enjoyed this image. It was a lot of fun creating it!

Pam #3659799

Laura Clay-Ballard December 04, 2006

awesome. I like your tip about erasing .. #3663920

Pamela K December 04, 2006

Thank you, Laura!!! Glad I could help!

Pam #3665068

William88 December 04, 2006

Awesome picture. The motion blur is really wonderful for this image!! #3666555

Sharon Day level-classic December 04, 2006

Awesome capture, Pam!!! I love both versions but I think the motion blur is a winner! Great job! #3666903

Pamela K December 04, 2006

Thank you William and Sharon!!!! #3667314

Diane Dupuis December 27, 2006

Wow - I love both versions! Very well done Pam! #3744909

December 28, 2006

great pics, I like em both #3747723

Kay E. Mahoney level-classic December 29, 2006

Congratulations on your beautiful finalist. Good luck in the next round. #3753034

Shawn M. Marymee December 29, 2006


Congratulations on your finalist! #3753058

Cathy M. Gromball December 29, 2006

Congratulations on this wonderful finalist, Pamela!

Cathy :) #3753606

Wendy S. Mogul December 29, 2006

Wow outstanding work in blurring the backround! it adds so much to the shot!
Great work and congrats on the finalist! Good luck! #3753818

Cindy Cone December 29, 2006

Congrats on this well-deserved finalist! Great work! #3753931

Donna La Mattino Pagakis level-deluxe December 29, 2006

Great action capture, congratulations! #3754664

Jeff Robinson level-deluxe December 29, 2006

Congrats on your excellent Finalist!! Jeff #3756223

December 29, 2006

Using a Photoshop tool in a perfect way. #3757317

William88 December 29, 2006

Congratulations on this wonderful finalist!! Good luck in the next round. #3757606

Sharon Day level-classic December 30, 2006

Congratulations, Pam!!! I knew the judges would ilke this one! #3761039

January 08, 2007

Congratulations on this wonderful finalist!!

Dear Pam, I feel you have slightly increases the sharpness of the crane. If it is, how did you do that? Any free plugin if you know?

Wish u all the best for your future ahead. #3797534

Pamela K June 05, 2007

Thank you, Diane, Marc, Kay, Shawn, Cathy, Wendy, Cindy, Donna, Jeff, William, Sharon, Rohit, and the Judges!!!

Rohit, in the two photos posted here, the crane is actually exactly the same. I didn't change the sharpness after blurring the background. However, I do always slightly increase the sharpness of all my photos after sizing them down for BetterPhoto. When you reduce the pixels, the sharpness decreases a bit, so I use Unsharp Mask in Photoshop. If you have Photoshop, it's under the Filters menu under Sharpen. Just be careful not to oversharpen because it makes your photo look fake.

Pam #4368256

To discuss, first log in or sign up (buttons are at top center of page).

Get Constructive Critiques

Sign up for an interactive online photography course to get critiques on your photos.


Did You Know?

BetterPhoto Websites: If you see an orange website link directly under the photographer's name, it's totally okay. It's not spam. The reason: BetterPhoto is the one that offers these personal photography websites. We are supporting our clients with those links.

Unavailable EXIF: If there is no other information but 'Unavailable' in the EXIF (meaning no EXIF data exists with the photo), the 'Unavailable' blurb is not displayed. If there is any info, it shows. Many photos have the EXIF stripped out when people modify the image and resave it, before uploading.


The following truth is one of the core philosophies of BetterPhoto:

I hear, I forget.
I see, I remember.
I do, I understand.

You learn by doing. Take your next online photography class. Photo Contest Finalist

Copyright for this gallery photo belongs solely to Pamela K.
Images may not be copied, downloaded, or used in any way without the expressed, written permission of the photographer.
Log in to follow or message this photographer or report this photo.