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"Day Dreamin" | David Christopher's San Diego Seascape featuring Encinitas and Leucadia Beaches

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How to Create Motion Blur in Photoshop | Landscape Photography Techniques

How to Create Motion Blur in the Sky

I use both Adobe Photoshop Lightroom and Adobe Photoshop. I usually start in Lightroom and move into Photoshop for the details. The image above was a single image, processed twice.

One of the images was exposed for the darker areas (the water and foreground). The other was processed one-stop darker for the sky and clouds. In general, water, and reflections, are usually 2-stops darker than the sky (depending on the light).

Taking the two images into Photoshop, copy and paste one image on top of the other. From there, I then blended the two images in post using Layer Masks, did some detail work, applied the motion in the clouds using a "Radial Blur">> "Zoom" filter. Using layer masks again, I then removed much of the blur from the parts I didn't want it.

This image was shot in one second, therefore there should be no blur in the clouds. I did apply the automatic "Lens Correction" and "Remove Chromatic Aberration" in Lightroom, and I also did a "Manual Correction" to compensate for the upward tilt of the lens (which causes inward-leaning buildings etc. It's a Vertical manual adjustment). The motion in the clouds was added towards the end of procession using a
"Filter" >> "Blur" >> "Radial Blur" >> "Zoom effect."

After you've done that,  apply a layers mask to remove the effect from the part of the image where you don't want any motion. Lastly put some final touches on the whole image.

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