How To Create Sophisticated Motion Effects With Photoshop’s Path Blur

Photoshop CC’s recent addition to its Blur Gallery, Path Blur offers a creative and flexible way to add directional motion to your images in post-production. It’s astonishing! You’ve got to try it to believe it – and to truly understand it.

The Blur Gallery now has five effects (Field Blur, Iris Blur, Tilt-Shift, Path Blur, and Spin Blur) that can be controlled from a single panel. Once you’ve accessed one, you can quickly access the others at the same time enabling you to create complex blur effects in a single stop. Path Blur alone is capable of delivering lots of complex motion effects with one simple path.

Before applying Path Blur, consider using a Smart Object to make the filter non-destructive, re-editable, and maskable. (I recommend you acquire Raw files as a Smart Objects but in cases where you can’t, such as cases that involve merges or stacks or major retouching, convert your Background layer to a Smart Object – Layer: Smart Objects: Convert To Smart Object.)

To apply the filter follow this path - Filter: Blur Gallery : Path Blur. The Blur Gallery panel will appear, offering you five extraordinary sliders and multiple points of control.

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How To Control Blur FX In Photoshop With Amazing Precision

Photographers use blur (or bokeh) for a variety of reasons: to enhance space through depth of field; to add interesting visual artifacts; to simplify them; to change the quality of their expression. In the past, blur was controlled almost entirely through exposure; now it can also be controlled during post-processing, giving photographers an unprecedented array of options and ways to customize the look and feel of their images. Knowing what you can do, how far you can go, and when you can do it may change the way you shoot, one time, sometimes, or all the time.

There are many blur filters in Photoshop; Field Blur, Iris Blur, Tilt-Shift, Gaussian Blur, Lens Blur, Motion Blur, Radial Blur, Shape Blur, Smart Blur, Surface Blur, in order of appearance in the Filter: Blur drop-down menu. (See A Quick Visual Comparison Of Photoshop's Blur Filters here.) The choices are extensive and it pays to familiarize yourself with your options by experimenting with them; you’ll find you have an extraordinary set of options that you can modify and combine creatively. If you only use the filters Gaussian Blur and Lens Blur, you’ll still have game-changing control at your fingertips, once you learn how to extend and modify them.

Photoshop's Lens Blur filter

There are several important non-destructive strategies you can use to gain more control over all filter effects that will enable you to go further in your explorations and generate more sophisticated and compelling results. Try one or all of the moves in this classic progression. Apply a filter to a duplicate layer and then modify its Opacity, Blend Mode, Blend If Sliders, and add a layer mask.

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One Simple Way To Make Photoshop’s Go To Filter High Pass Even More Useful

Indispensable, Photoshop’s High Pass filtration offers contrast and detail enhancement effects no other tool does. Some tools get close, but they’re not the same. 

(Read Curves, Clarity, Dehaze, High Pass, Texture and Sharpening Compared.)

High Pass filtration slip streams between detail enhancement or sharpening (at a low setting) and luminosity contrast adjustment (at a high setting). The two are intimately tied to one another and the difference is really just the granularity that the contrast is applied with. At a low setting High Pass filtration accentuates contrast along contours with a thin feathered line, while the flat gray areas surrounding contours on the high pass layer tend not to accentuation texture or noise. At a high setting High Pass filtration creates stronger contrast so broadly feathered that it creates a localized vignetting effect, accentuating the illusion of volume in the process.

(Read more here on How To Apply High Pass Filtration.)

The intensity of either or both of these high pass effects can be accentuated by adding more contrast to the high pass layer with Curves. Unlike raising the High Pass filter slider while you apply it, which increases the width of the lines on it, increasing the contrast of the layer with Curves does not; it simply makes the lines darker and the haloes brighter.

Take these steps ...

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How To Make Advanced Masks in Adobe Camera RAW & Lightroom

Masks in Camera Raw and Lightroom are new. Colin Smith shows you beyond the basics, how to combine masks for more complex selections, such as selecting the foreground, adding, subtracting, and intersecting masks. Learn how to use combination and complex masks.

How To Hack Photoshop’s AI To Get Astonishing Color Grading In Your Images

Add spectacular color to photographs using this amazing trick Colin Smith discovered by hacking Color transfer in Photoshop 2022. This quick tip will help you color grade photos like a pro, but its so easy and quick. Every photographer will love this.

What’s New in Lightroom Classic 11 For Photographers – Plus More On New Easy Masking Features


Adobe released the October 2021 Update to Lightroom Classic. This video will walk you through what’s new.

Plus, take a deep dive into Lightroom’s new masking features.
0:00 Intro
1:48 Don’t Freak Out
3:00 Mask Basics
4:46 Brush and Gradient Masks
6:35 Subtract with Select Sky
8:32 Brush and Gradient Presets
9:38 Using the Linear Gradient
11:41 Luminance Range Masking
14:41 Color Range Masking
16:40 Select Subject
19:12 Select Sky
20:38 Advanced Portrait Example

The New Masking Tools In Lightroom & Camera Raw



“Discover how easy it is to make local adjustments to your photographs using Lightroom and Adobe Camera Raw’s new Masking panel and tools including: Select Subject, Select Sky, Radial and Linear Gradients, Brush, Color and Luminance Range Masking and more!”

View more on Julianne Kost’s blog.

Learn more in my digital photography and digital printing workshops.

What’s New in Photoshop 2022 For Photographers

Matt Koslowski gives us a tour of Photoshop 2022’s new features for photographers.

Adobe Photoshop 2022 Top New Features in 9 Minutes!

“This video will cover the top 5 new features and updates in Photoshop version 23.0.0! In this video, we will look at some of the most significant new features like the Object Finder, Neural Filters, Mask All Objects, and so much more!”
00:00 – Introduction
00:20 – Object Finder
02:10 – Mask All Objects
02:45 – Harmonization Neural Filter
05:12 – Landscape Mixer Neural Filter
05:48 – Commenting on Cloud Documents
07:14 – Paste Vectors from Adobe Illustrator
08:45 – In-App Tutorials 09:72 – Final Thoughts

Photoshop 2022 – 9 New Features with Pros & Cons

Unmesh Dinda takes us on an in-depth look at what Photoshop version 23.0.0 has to offer, going through all the new features and updates.
00:00 Harmonization
02:17 Auto-Selections on Hover
03:10 Gradient Interpolation Options
04:42 Content Credentials
06:53 Improved Interoperability with Illustrator
08:35 Share for Commenting
09:53 Landscape Mixer
11:58 Improved Colorize
12:59 Color Transfer
13:56 Question to You!