Adding Impact to Action Shots

with 1 Comment

Want to give your photos a sense of movement, speed, and force? Here’s a simple way to make an ordinary photo really come to life! In just three simple steps, you can amp up the action and create some powerful visual impact.

This technique works best with photos where the action is either coming right at you or mostly straight on.

Tutorial:

For Adobe Photoshop Version click here.

Step 1: Choose Your Photo

Photos that feature some sort of movement or action are the best choice… riding, jumping, dancing, running, etc. Here are two examples of images that will work very well with this technique. The first image is great because the subject is very close up and at eye level or lower. The second image is great because of the intensity portrayed in the photo — the faces and body language of the riders.

  • Duplicate your original image by pressing Ctrl J (Mac: Cmd J).

Step 2: Identify the Epicenter

  • Get the Lasso tool and draw a fairly loose outline around the subject of your image, wherever you want the center of the action to be.
  • In the Menu Bar, choose Select > Feather.
  • Set the Feather Radius to 150. Click OK.
  • Then go back to Select > Inverse.

Step 3: Bring On the Blur

  • In the Menu Bar, select Filter > Blur > Radial Blur.
  • Set the blur Amount to 100 (or a little less, depending upon how much impact you want to see).
  • Set the Blur Method to Zoom.
  • Set the Quality to Best. Click OK.

It will take a moment for your blur effect to render… and bam! Instant impact.

  • Press Ctrl D (Mac: Cmd D) to get rid of the marching ants around your selection, and be sure to save your image as a JPG with a new name.

Now let’s look at the before and after of the other image. Same steps, and another great look of power and motion.

So that’s how you add action and impact using Photoshop Elements! Don’t forget to share your creations in our Tip of the Week Gallery.

Credits:

Tip of the Week: Adding Impact to Action Shots, by Jan Walker

Photos: Morguefile.com

Software: Adobe Photoshop Elements 10

Download a PDF version of this “Adding Impact to Action Shots” tutorial.

Windows: Right click on the link and choose “Save Target As” or a similar command.

Mac: Click on the link to download the file.

Step 1: Choose Your Photo

Photos that feature some sort of movement or action are the best choice… riding, jumping, dancing, running, etc. Here are two examples of images that will work very well with this technique. The first image is great because the subject is very close up and at eye level or lower. The second image is great because of the intensity portrayed in the photo — the faces and the body language of the riders.

  • Duplicate your original image by pressing Ctrl J (Mac: Cmd J).

Step 2: Identify the Epicenter

  • Get the Lasso tool and draw a fairly loose outline around the subject of your image, wherever you want the center of the action to be.
  • In the Menu Bar, choose Select > Modify > Feather.
  • Set the Feather Radius to 150. Click OK.
  • Then go back to Select > Inverse.

Step 3: Bring On the Blur

  • In the Menu Bar, select Filter > Blur > Radial Blur.
  • Set the blur Amount to 100 (or a little less, depending upon how much impact you want to see).
  • Set the Blur Method to Zoom.
  • Set the Quality to Best. Click OK.

It will take a moment for your blur effect to render… and bam! Instant impact.

  • Press Ctrl D (Mac: Cmd D) to get rid of the marching ants around your selection, and be sure to save your image as a JPG with a new name.

Now let’s look at the before and after of the other image. Same steps, and another great look of power and motion.

So that’s how you add action and impact using Photoshop! Don’t forget to share your creations in our Tip of the Week Gallery.

Credits:
Tip of the Week: Adding Impact to Action Shots, by Jan Walker
Photos: Morguefile.com
Software: Adobe Photoshop CS5

Download a PDF version of this “Adding Impact to Action Shots” tutorial.

Windows: Right click on the link and choose “Save Target As” or a similar command.
Mac: Click on the link to download the file.

One Response

  1. Bonnie
    | Reply

    I saw this tip and used it before. Did all the tips that we used to get go to Premier members? I am the member that bought classes, forgot what we are called, I think it is Plus members.
    Thank you

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