45 Beautiful Motion Blur Photos


Smashing Magazine has a collection of charming pictures showing how a motion blur effect can add a sense of speed to photographs. Link -via the Presurfer

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While Photoshop is neat for a lot of good things, motion blur is at its coolest when it's natural. A lot of these photos were taken by taking a long exposure followed by a flash to illuminate the detail in the image. A quick flash is the equivalent to the shutter in these dark photos.

For those of you unsure, at least the photo of the dirtbike, the blue grid third from the bottom and the gun had their woops shooped. Not even particularly well I might add. The photo of the stairs may also be shooped, definitely for color removal if not for blur. Popular vote around here says that the photo of the dice is the best image in composition and originality.
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I have to apologize to linty. I followed the link to the dirtbike photo and took a better look. That particular shot is indeed manipulated. A similar effect, however, can be achieved with a zoom lens, as I mentioned. TO get it off-center, just crop.

I also took a look at some of the others, like the dog and the spinning kid. If you view the larger sizes, you'll note that the subjects aren't totally clear. The front of the dog's head is blurred, too.
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I doubt the dog photo is photoshopped. It was likely taken in a car, with the dog characteristically sticking his head out the window. The blurring of the background is of course caused by the motion of the car; the blurring of the back of the dog's head is caused by his hair wildly moving in the wind. I'd guess an exposure of about 1/10 sec. or so would be enough to provide said motion blur without the dog moving his head enough to readily show blurring.

The dirtbike photo, which is "almost definitely" photoshopped, almost certainly isn't, either. That effect can easily be replicated with a zoom lens. Quickly zoom in while taking the shot (manually, not with a slow P&S zoom). I've done the same thing many times.

And yes, it's possible to take a picture of a blurred background and a clear subject. Exposure times needn't be incredibly long to result in motion blur.

I've been a photographer for somewhere around 20 years and am really amazed at some of the simple things people call "photoshopped" on. Take some photography courses, read some photography books, study others' techniques, get some extensive hands-on experience, and repeat for many years. Or at least ask experienced photographers how an effect might be accomplished before concluding yourself that it was simply "photoshopped."
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I suspect the dog is photoshopped. If he's moving fast enough to blur the back of his head (on film) the front half should be blurred too.
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