Blur can be used in photography in many creative ways, although a lot blur we capture we really don’t want. What is worse than looking back at pictures you have taken during the day and find that the sharp photo is in fact soft and blurry? Photoshop now has shake reduction filter that can help reduce some minor lens blur; still the rule is if the picture is not sharp, no amount of sharpening will make it sharper.
One of the biggest causes of blur is usually associated with shooting with a too long exposure for the lens being used. The rule of thumb is, the shutter speed should be no shorter than the length of the lens; i.e. shooting with a 300mm lens the shortest shutter speed should be (without a tripod) 1/300th of a second. Of course with VR and IS lens you do have a bit more leeway.
This week I went back to visit my squirrel friends with more nuts as payment for harassing them with my camera. The squirrels were quite active as usual in the mid-morning and were happily taking the nuts and then running off to eat or bury them for later. While they were running I wanted to capture them in motion. Shooting at 1/250 with a 300mm lens and IS active I could get some sharp shots; to freeze them running I had to pan the camera as I was snapping.
I got some OK shots but the blur for me wasn’t dramatic enough. Instead of using Photoshop to sharpen blur, I increased the blurring using Path Blur. I had never used this filter from the blur gallery before, and after watching Adobe Photoshop’s YouTube video I got the hang of it quite easily. I replicated a flash sync motion blur where the flash freezes the subject but everything else blurs due to a longer exposure. I used two layers one to apply the blur and the second to mask in the unblurred squirrel.
I would have liked to have the face of the squirrel sharper, in saying that I think I got a pretty good shot.
What do you think? Let me know in the comments below.
Also remember to check out what other photobloggers have been up to with this weeks theme Blur.
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