Drag things out
Lauren Scott shows you how easy it is to recreate an abstract camera panning effect with any image from the comfort of your computer
Purposely introducing camera movement is one way to capture a shot that stands out from the crowd. You may have tried the camera-drag technique – where you pan your Nikon during a long exposure – before. If you have, you’ll know how artistic the results can be. Depending on the movement and shutter speed, lines in the scene become blurred, and colours merge into one another (see page 80). In this tutorial, we’ll show you how to recreate the effect in Photoshop.
One of the most important things is to choose the right starting image. Woodland scenes (for vertical panning) and beach shots (for horizontal panning) work well, as any trunks or horizon lines in the landscape become more prominent when blurred across the frame. Don’t agonize too much over choosing your start image, though; the process is fairly quick, so you can discard a shot and move on if it isn’t working.
Blending modes and opacity levels are key here. You can also tweak the number of layers and saturation levels. We started off with three layers, but you may find a shot works better with more. Don’t be afraid to go bright and bold with the colour; boosting vibrancy can make all the difference here, leaving you with an abstract photo that’s as colourful as it is striking.
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