For this tutorial I'm using Adobe Photoshop Elements 8, the latest version of this easy-to-use image editing program, but I'll also be including the latest version of The GIMP, the free image editing program. You can download a copy of The GIMP from here. Click where it says “Download GIMP 2.6.7". If this proves to be a popular idea I'll do more Elements/GIMP tutorials over the next few weeks.
In this week's tutorial I'll be showing you how to give action shots extra dynamism by adding a radial zoom blur to simulate movement. This is a simple and effective technique, but like many effects filters it only really works on certain types of photo. It's best for photos of moving subjects, where the direction of movement is as near as possible directly toward or away from the camera. A photo like this one is ideal:
By applying a radial blur to the background of the image, but masking the main subject, we can produce an effect like this:
It's simple and effective, and very easy to learn in both Elements and GIMP. Read on to see how it's done...