photoshop creative
Mar
16

Enhance sports photos

Posted in:
Tips & Tutorials, by Mark White
March 16, 2016

Kick a humdrum sports shot into overdrive with blurs, adjustments and blend modes

final

1. Select the subject

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Open your subject. Use the Quick Selection tool to select the model. Click and drag to add to the selection (hold Option/Alt to remove). Use square brackets to size the brush.

2. Refine and save

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Zoom in with the Zoom tool if needed. Continue refining the selection. It doesn’t have to be perfect, but get close. When done, press the Add Layer Mask button in the Layers palette. Save to your computer (File>Save As) and close.

3. Place the footballer

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Find your background. Go to File>Place (Place Linked in CC), choose your subject. Scale down slightly and move towards the right a bit, then press Return/Enter to confirm the place.

4. Inject some motion

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Go to Filter>Blur>Motion Blur. Set Angle to -9 and Distance to 107. Click OK. Set Foreground colour to black, and select the Brush tool. Choose a Soft Round brush at 40-80% Opacity. Click the Smart Filters mask. Paint black to restore detail. Select the background for the next step.

5. Apply streaks

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Go to File>Place (Place Embedded in CC), choose a light streak stock image. Position/scale/rotate before pressing Return/Enter to confirm the place. Place another instance. Apply a layer mask to each using the Add Layer Mask button in the Layers palette. Set both to Lighten blend mode. Paint black to reduce or remove.

6. Add more blur

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Duplicate your original subject layer and add more motion blur wherever you feel appropriate. Set to Hard Light blend mode. Drop the Opacity to 75%. Add a layer mask and paint black to remove in unneeded areas.

7. Include some wisps

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Add some more wisps. Set to Overlay blend mode. Add a layer mask and paint black to remove in unneeded areas.

8. Place some particles

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Find particles and earth selections. Apply layer masks to any or all of them, then paint with black to reduce or remove in areas. You can even apply a Motion Blur as we did with the subject.

9. Set to Vivid Light

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Click on the Create New Fill/Adjustment Layer button in the Layers palette and choose Solid Color. Pick #d69118. Set to Vivid Light blend mode. Click the mask and then paint with black to reduce or remove in areas.

10. Merge layers

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Select the top layer. Press Cmd/Ctrl+Option/Alt+Shift+E. This will merge layers, allowing us to apply a few filters to the whole. Right-click on the layer and choose Convert to Smart Object.

11. Apply Camera RAW

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Go to the Filter>Camera Raw filter. In the Basic category, slide Clarity all the way to the right to +100. This will bring out some nice detail. Click OK. We’ll now add another filter.

12. Apply the Lens Flare filter

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Go to Filter>Render>Lens Flare. Here we just used the 50-300mm Zoom at 100% Brightness. Click in the preview to position the lens flare. Click OK. In the Smart Filter mask, paint black to tone down both of the filters.

13. Create a pattern

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Go to File>New to create a new file. Set Width: 1 Pixel, Height: 43 Pixels, Resolution: 300 Pixels/Inch, Background Content: Transparent. Select the Pencil tool, set to 1px size at 100% Opacity. Set Foreground to white. Click the top 16 pixels. Go to Edit>Define Pattern. Click OK.

14. Add the pattern

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Return to the main document. Click the Create New Fill/ Adjustment Layer button in the Layers palette and choose Pattern. Click OK. You should see the pattern you just created fill the canvas. Drop to 35% Opacity. Set to Overlay blend mode. Paint black in the mask to reduce or remove in areas.

15. Pick a bright colour

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Click on the Create New Fill/Adjustment Layer button in the Layers palette, and then choose Solid Color. Pick the colour #ff009c. Set to Color blend mode. Click the layer mask. Press Cmd/Ctrl+I to invert. Now paint back with a white brush to add the colour.

16. Add glares

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Click the Create New Fill/Adjustment Layer button in the Layers palette, choose Solid Color. Pick #ff009c. Set to Lighten blend mode. Click the layer mask. Press Cmd/Ctrl+I to invert. Now paint back with white to add the colour.

17. Apply Colour Balance

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Click the Create New Fill/Adjustment Layer button, choose Color Balance. For Midtones, set to (from top to bottom) -100, +25, -100. Paint black in the mask to reduce or remove in areas.

18. Apply Levels

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Click the Create New Fill/Adjustment Layer button in the Layers palette, choose Levels. Nudge the midtones slider leftward to slightly lighten the image (we set to 1.15). Now paint black in the mask around the edges.