This Photoshop tutorial shows how Motion Blur can give you an easy solution to improving images
Emulating motion blur is a tried and tested formula for quickly improving a photo, so if you have an image that could do we a little help, we encourage you to give it a go.
Issue 81 carries a nifty tip for blurring water, to give the effect of slow shutter speed. This tip is part of the issue’s Q&A section, where you will find quick solutions to common image-editing problems.
Begin by opening yourself a stock photo. We’ve used a royalty-free example from www.sxc.hu (1360117_19040527). Duplicate your image by pressing Ctrl/Cmd+J, then select Filter>Blur>Motion Blur. Address the direction of the water in your image to apply settings.
We’ve applied a -20-degree Angle with a Distance of 60px to set the intensity of our effect. From here, apply a layer mask from the foot of the Layers palette (Add layer mask), then invert the mask by pressing Ctrl/Cmd+I.
All that’s left to do is paint in the motion effect created by your masked motion blur. To do this, select a soft edged white brush with Opacity set at 50%. You can apply this to your mask so that the effect shows through. Paint it out again with a black brush if you make any mistakes.