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Isolate Your Main Subject
Sometimes a picture
just has too many places for the eyes to focus on. On a trip to Canada's Wonderland,
I took a picture of the lifeguard watching the children (including mine) having
a blast on the water slides. In modifying this photo, I had two goals in mind:
1) I wanted to isolate the lifeguard and focus the attention on her alone, plus
2) I wanted to give the impression of swirling motion (for that is really how
Sony DSC-V1 Cyber-shot
Program AE, Multi Pattern, Auto WB
7mm, 1/250 sec., F5.0, +0.7EV, ISO 100
In this One-Pager
tutorial, we'll explore how to use the Radial Blur action of Photoshop
Elements to accomplish both goals.
in Photoshop Format
The picture is
in jpeg, so the first thing to do is to open it up in Photoshop Elements and
then Select - All, followed by Edit - Copy. This
copies the picture into memory (or the clipboard, if you want to be more exact).
Close the original picture since we never ever want to muck around with it.
Now, we open up a new file to work on: File - New... - Contents=Transparent
- OK, followed by Edit - Paste. The picture is pasted unto
our new file.
[Of course, though
we are specifying the menu bar options (in bold), feel free to use the icon
Save this file
as a Photoshop file (.psd) with a new name. It's a good idea to save your work
each time you reach a milestone -- or before you try a major change: File
- Save - give it a name [e.g. watchfulCare.psd].
on a Copy
If your Layers
window is not opened yet, click on the Layers Tab and drag it into the main
window. It will now stay open. If necessary, drag the bottom edge down to be
able to see more than one layer at a time.
There will be a
Layer 1 already in the Layers window with the picture we're working on.
Double-Click on that layer and rename it to something more appropriate,
such as "original".
Now, make a copy
of this layer by dragging it to the new layer icon (the middle icon) at the
bottom of the Layers window. A new layer (called original copy) appears
above the original layer. Click off the eye icon beside the original
layer. You should end up with something like this:
Area To Keep In Focus
Now comes the tricky
part. First, ensure you are working with the copy by selecting it (click on
the original copy layer). Using the Lasso Tool and Magic Wand
Tool, trace the outline of the lifeguard and any other part of the picture
you want to stay in focus.
If you make any
mistake along the way, Edit - Undo or Step Backward will
safely undo your mistake(s). Also, remember that you still have the original
layer if you mess up real good and want to start all over. For example, if you
want to delete the original copy layer because you messed it up, position
your cursor on the layer and do: Right Click - Delete Layer. Then make
a copy as described above.
Once you have selected
the part of the image you want to keep in focus, do Select - Inverse
to inverse the selection since we want to apply Radial Blur to that part.
[Of course, you
can opt to do the reverse: select the area to blur. Up to you, and depending
on which area is smallest and/or easiest to select.]
Now, do Filter
- Blur - Radial Blur...
on Amount, Blur Method, and Quality to achieve the effect
you want. Click OK.
And there you have
it! The radial blur amplifies the swirling action of the children sliding down
and running back for one more go at the water slides, all under the watchful
care of the lifeguard in sharp focus. Try the Radial Blur action of Photoshop
Elements. Have fun!
Photoshop Elements Radial Blur Effect
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