Nature Notes

December 31, 2009

Photoshop Tutorial – Motion Blur

Filed under: HDR,Photoshop Tutorial,Processing Tips,Toronto — Tags: , — Harold Stiver @ 7:00 am

SpideyTrain

The Motion Blur Filter in Photoshop can provide the impact of movement to an object in your image. We are going to use the image above of a stationary train in Toronto’s Union Station which has some interesting Spiderman advertising on the side. This image was processed in HDR in order to get the range of shadow to highlights.

There are two ways we can give a look of motion to the above¬† image… with the train in motion and the background stationary, or the reverse.

Lets try the background blurred and give a look as if we were panning with the movement of the train. First we add a duplicate copy to work in (Layer>>>Duplicate Layer). Next step is to select the train only. There are numerous ways of doing this but I use Quick Mask (Click the icon at the bottom of your tools menu panel). A double click on the Quick Mask Icon brings up a small menu which allows you to choose whether your actions will select or mask areas. I choose select, and then work with the Mask tool to draw over the surface of the train. As I work I will see the area I have chosen turn pink. If you choose an area you don’t want included, just change the foreground color from balck to white on the icon above your Quick Mask icon and the brush can be used to remove previously chosen parts.

When you are happy with the chosen area, click the Quick Mask icon to get out of that mode.

Now we use the motion blur filter (Filter>>>Blur>>>Motion Blur). Make sure your angle matches the direction of motion you want and then adjust the distance to to what looks good to you. Click enter, deselect (Select…Deselect) and you can see the resulting image. Hopefully your image will now look as if you panned your camera with the motion of a moving object and have a blurred background.

SpideyTrainMotionBlurA

Motion blur the background

To give a look as if the camera stayed stationary and recorded a blurred moving object, just follow the same procedure above until just before the Motion Blur Filter. Invert your selection (Select >>> Inverse) and then proceed with the Motion Blur as before. The result should be a stationary background and a blurred object.

Motion blur the object

Motion blur the object

Note this could also be done in an adjustment layer if you thought you might want to make future changes. When there is only a little processing involved like this example, I tend to plan on re-doing the processing should I wish to change it.

I used Photoshop CS4 for this but it should work in many earlier versions.

Index to Photoshop Tutorials.

This tutorial is a part of the Photoshop Workflow Series


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December 30, 2009

December 29, 2009

Rocky Mountain Sunset- An HDR Timelapse

Filed under: HDR,Timelapse — Tags: , , — Harold Stiver @ 7:00 am

The individual frames were toned in Photomatix and assembled in VirtualDub

It is my first attempt to edit in After Effects.


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December 24, 2009

Red Sumac, Rhus glabra

Filed under: Flowers — Tags: — Harold Stiver @ 7:00 am

Red Sumac, Rhus glabra

Red Sumac, Rhus glabra

Red Sumac, Rhus glabra, is a plant with both wonderful textures as well as color.  Sometimes said to be poison, the fruit is described by medicinal plant sources as being high in Vitamin C and providing a tart juice.

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December 18, 2009

Intersecting Lines

Filed under: Cityscape,Toronto — Tags: , — Harold Stiver @ 7:00 am

Intersecting Lines

Intersecting Lines

From the tracks at Toronto’s Union Station, we look west to the CN Tower. A cold wind being funneled through the structure kept me hopping.


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December 17, 2009

The Skywalk

Filed under: Cityscape,Toronto — Tags: , , — Harold Stiver @ 7:00 am

The Skywalk, Toronto

The Skywalk, Toronto

In the late 1980’s an enclosed walkway called the Skywalk was built from Toronto’s Union Station to nearby Skydome. It is a great design and the many windows reveal the buildings in the city’s core.

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December 16, 2009

My new Christmas header

Filed under: Graphic,Photoshop Tutorial,Processing Tips — Tags: , — Harold Stiver @ 7:00 am
Christmas Header

Christmas Header

One of the best ways to learn about some of Photoshop’s more advanced features is to follow through some of the excellent tutorials to be found online. The Christmas header above was constructed by adapting an excellent Tutorial at Adobe Tutorials. Some of the interesting things in this tutorial are blending options for layer, use of the pen tool, and custom shapes.


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December 15, 2009

White-Nosed Coatimundi

Filed under: Animals,Panama — Tags: , , — Harold Stiver @ 8:33 am

White-Nosed Coatimundi

White-Nosed Coatimundi

Related to the Racoon family, White-Nosed Coatimundi, can be found from the southern U.S. to South America. They can often be seen in large groups. In Costa Rica,on a quiet back road, we came upon two dozen of them who ran to our car. They apparently had become used to human handouts

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