James Artaius shows you how Photoshop Elements’ Guided mode can really add a sense of speed to your static shots
Add a speed pan to make your static shots look action-packed
Getting a successful panning shot – where you track a moving subject, panning the camera as it moves, in order to turn the background into a motion blur – can be very difficult to achieve. Just ask anyone who’s tried shooting birds in flight!
Fortunately, Photoshop Elements has an incredibly powerful tool that enables you to add a ‘Speed Pan’ effect to your images. Even better, it is one of the program’s Guided modes, meaning that it’s an intelligent process that walks you through a series of simple steps that even a complete newcomer to post production will find to be rather straightforward.
The effect is very convincing and will enable you to turn your static images of cars, birds and sports into dynamic action shots. Using the starter image we’ve supplied for you on our cover disc (or via the download link on this page), you can add a speed pan to an image of a skateboarder performing a trick.
At the heart of this effect, Elements is performing some clever layer masking techniques to add the motion blur. You can actually see this at work in step five, as a layer mask thumbnail is visible in the Layers palette. The Guided mode does all the hard work for you, though, so you can get great results without having to learn the technique for yourself.
Take a look at the finished image and we think you’ll agree – anyone would be hard pushed to tell that the effect wasn’t achieved in-camera as a panning shot!