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How To Add Motion Blur To A Photo?

February 28

13 min. to read

Discover how to give your photos an exciting twist with motion blur, turning ordinary scenes into lively images full of movement. This easy-to-follow guide is great for anyone looking to add a bit of action to their shots. It's full of simple tips and fun ideas that'll help you capture the world in motion!

How To Add Motion Blur To A Photo? Image1Ever looked at photos where everything seems to blur out except for one sharp thing that looks like it's moving? That great effect is called motion blur, and it's not just something only expert photographers can do. You can see it in pictures of busy streets, dancers spinning around, or trees blowing in the wind. Adding this blur to your photos can turn them from regular pictures into something much more special.

So, how to take motion blur photos that make people stop and look? Today, we are going to learn everything. We'll start with the simple stuff, show you some fun ways to play around with it, and share some easy tips to help you get awesome blurred photos. 

Let’s grab our cameras and get started on this photo adventure!

What's Motion Blur All AboutHow To Add Motion Blur To A Photo? Image2

Motion blur is that blurry streak you see in photos when something moves really fast, or the camera shakes a little while taking a picture. It's like when you're taking a photo, and someone moves quickly; they won't look sharp and clear, but instead, they'll have this cool blur that shows they were moving.

There are two main types of motion blur we talk about. First, there's the kind you get when you move your camera. Maybe you're taking a picture, but your hand shakes a bit, or you turn the camera while snapping the photo. That makes everything in the picture look a bit streaky. Then, there's the kind when you keep your camera still but capture something moving, like a car zooming by or a dog running across the yard. The background stays clear, but the moving thing gets blurred.

Understanding how quickly something is moving and in what direction can really help you control this blur effect. If you know a car is going to speed past, you can plan how to move your camera or set it up to catch that perfect blur as it goes by. It's all about matching your camera's movement with what's happening in the picture or keeping it still to focus on the moving part. This way, you can make your photos tell a story of movement, adding a bit of life and action to them!

Infuse Your Photos with Dynamic Energy Using the Motion Blur

Learn more

How to Make Motion Blur HappenHow To Add Motion Blur To A Photo? Image3

Let's talk about how you can capture those great, blurry motion effects in your photos. It's all about messing with your camera's settings and knowing a few tricks on how to hold or move your camera. And don't worry, We've got some easy and fun ideas for you to try, no matter where you are or what time it is.

Getting Your Camera Ready

The main thing you need to adjust on your camera is shutter speed. This just means how long the camera takes to snap the picture. If you let it take its time (a slow shutter speed), moving stuff like cars or running dogs will look blurry. But, if you're snapping quick (a fast shutter speed), everything freezes in place, sharp and clear. You'll need to play around with this to see how it changes your pictures. Just remember, the slower your shutter speed, the more light gets in. So, you might need to tweak other things on your camera to keep your photo from getting too bright. This is the essence of shutter speed for motion blur!

Keeping Your Camera Steady (Or Not)

If you want your picture to have a sharp background while something moves through it in a blur, you need to keep your camera super steady. A tripod is great for this, especially if you're letting your camera take its time with a slow shutter speed. But if you want to make everything except one moving thing look blurry, try moving your camera on purpose. You can move it side to side (panning) to follow something as it moves. This keeps the moving thing sharp and the rest blurry. You can also try tilting or zooming your camera while you take the picture for a fun effect.

Where and When to Take Awesome Motion Blur Photos

  • Outside: Busy streets are perfect for catching moving cars or people in a blur. Try early morning or evening when the light isn't so harsh.

  • Inside: Moving pets or people can make for fun indoor shots. You might need to slow down your shutter speed because it's darker inside, so using something to keep your camera steady can help.

  • Any Time: Daytime might mean you need to adjust your camera so it doesn't let in too much light. At night, try capturing lights or stars with a slow shutter speed for cool light trails.

Fun Ideas for Motion Blur

Here are some easy ways to play with motion blur:

  • Follow a moving thing with your camera (panning) to keep it clear while the background blurs.

  • Turn your camera a little while you take a picture to make everything look twisty.

  • Zoom in or out while snapping a photo of lights at night to make them streak.

These are just a few motion blur photography ideas to get you started. Messing around with these tips can help you take some really neat motion blur pictures. Just remember, the best way to learn is by trying different things and seeing what you like best!

Making Your Photos Pop with Blur After You Take ThemHow To Add Motion Blur To A Photo? Image4

Once you've captured your photos, the adventure doesn't stop there. Editing can transform a good photo into an amazing one. Specifically, if you're looking to add a motion effect on pictures or use a shadow remover photo editor, Luminar Neo is your go-to software. Let's explore how you can enhance your motion blur photos further and tackle common issues like unwanted shadows!

Removing Shadows for Clearer Images

Sometimes, shadows cast on faces, buildings, or objects can hide the details that you want to highlight. In Luminar Neo, removing these shadows to improve image visibility is straightforward. Whether it's shadows across faces or dark spots on landscapes, Luminar Neo's array of tools, including the innovative GenErase feature, can clear these up. GenErase utilizes generative AI to not only remove the shadow but also intelligently fill in the space with realistic textures, making your photo look natural and balanced.

How to Remove Shadows with Luminar Neo

To remove shadows:

  1. Open your photo in Luminar Neo and select the GenErase tool.

  2. Use a brush to highlight the shadowy areas you want to remove.

  3. Hit the Erase button. You can press it multiple times to compare results and pick the best one.

You can adjust the intensity of the shadow removal to ensure your photo retains its natural look. This selective process allows you to target specific areas without affecting the whole image!

How to Add Motion Blur with Luminar Neo

For those looking to add more energy to their photos, Luminar Neo’s motion blur effect is perfect. This feature can make a static photo seem like it's full of movement and excitement!

  1. Find the Blur tool under the Creative tools section.

  2. Choose Motion Blur and apply it either to the entire photo or mask specific areas for targeted blur.

  3. Use the opacity slider to adjust the intensity of the blur, ensuring it complements your photo perfectly.

Luminar Neo offers both radial and linear motion blur effects:

  • Radial motion blur emanates from a central point, ideal for creating a sensation of speed or explosion.

  • Linear motion blur follows a straight path, perfect for illustrating the movement of objects like cars or people.

With the handy masking brush, you can easily apply the blur precisely where you want it, adding a layer of creativity to your motion blur photography. If you also want to know how to make a photo less blurry, check out our previous post with detailed instructions!

Luminar Neo is a powerful platform for macOS and Windows users, offering high-performance AI editing capabilities, 24/7 technical support, and a 30-day money-back guarantee. Join the community of Luminar Insiders to explore more possibilities and enhance your photography skills!

Wrapping UpHow To Add Motion Blur To A Photo? Image5

So, we've gone through how to add that great blur effect to your photos, all the way from taking the picture to making it even better afterward. Whether you're catching the busy life on the streets or trying to show how fast your dog runs in your backyard, adding blur makes everything look alive. And if shadows are messing up your perfect picture, don't worry. With Luminar Neo, getting rid of them is easy, so your main subject shines!

Feeling excited to try more? If you like taking pictures of sports or anything that moves fast, we have another guide for you about how to take good sports photos, and it's full of good advice to help you capture all the action without missing a beat.

Remember, adding blur to your photos is about making them feel full of motion and telling a story that grabs people's attention. So keep playing with these tips and see how your photos transform from simple snapshots into blurred action photography masterpieces!

How To Add Motion Blur In Photography And Paint With Movement  | Skylum How-to(2)

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Written by

Maryna Yurlovskaya

Portrait Photographer

With over a decade of experience in photography, I live by the philosophy that "Beauty is in the eye of the beholder." I staunchly believe that everyone possesses their unique beauty, and it is my mission to unveil it through my work. I especially cherish moments when my work helps rekindle love and appreciation in relationships. My portfolio spans fashion, portraits, and candid backstage moments, capturing genuine emotions and telling compelling stories without the need for words.

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How To Add Motion Blur In Photography And Paint With Movement  | Skylum How-to(14)