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

NPhoto - - Mimicking Camera Drag -

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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