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Creating Painterly Photographs

Lesson 16 of 21

Vertical/Horizontal Panning in Photoshop

Kathleen Clemons

Creating Painterly Photographs

Kathleen Clemons

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Lesson Info

16. Vertical/Horizontal Panning in Photoshop

Lesson Info

Vertical/Horizontal Panning in Photoshop

The first thing that I wanna show you in Photoshop, is how to apply motion blur, right in Photoshop. So the way that I came up with this technique, actually, is because I had gone out shooting and I had taken a photo of some amazing trees with great spaces, and I thought why didn't I vertical pan that at the same time, you know? And then I thought, I wonder if I can do that in Photoshop? So I started playing around and yes, you can. So let's open this one. Get rid of a few things here. (keyboard clicking) Large enough for you you to see. (coughing in background) Okay, let's go a little bit bigger than that. Get this set up for the first one and hopefully we'll be all set for the rest. Okay, so these are some trees that I shot at Acadia, and I shot them because of the contrast between the old curly branches, with some beautiful color in the back, but I thought that I'd also wished that I had done a vertical pan of this one. So let me show you how I do that. The first thing that I'm alwa...

ys gonna do is make a new layer, and on a Mac that is Command J. Let's get my layers open. See if can move this over. Okay, then I'm gonna go up to Filter, Blur, whoops, Motion Blur. And right now it's set for horizontal motion, so I'm gonna change that. You could also just enter 90 degrees. I'm gonna change that. I'm gonna go to right around probably 200 pixels and you can start to see a change. So now I have a vertical pan, right in Photoshop. And if I feel like that's too much, I can come over to the opacity of it, and tone that back down. Did you see how the branches came back? Let's go to full again. And if I pull that down, I start to get those fine branches, and that was part of what caught my eye, so I would probably wanna keep those, right in the shot. You can also try different blending modes. Let's pull that back to full opacity, and instead of normal, let's see what Lighten looks like, for a totally different painterly affect. So with this technique I use lighten a lot, actually, or normal. But experiment with all of the modes. So a very, very simple way to take a shot that you really love the lines of and see it in a different way. So we're not gonna save that. Let's try it on another photo. (beeping) Okay, there's a lineup of red trees in the Fall that I also shot at Acadia. So let's open this one. And I'm also gonna start with a new layer. Reason my layers keep disappearing. And then go to Filter, Blur, Motion Blur, and this time it's still set in the direction from the last time I used it. It's about 197. I think that's probably good. Try a little more and see. Eh, I think closer to 200 was good, and say okay. Now let's say that you wanted to bring, you thought the bark on that front tree was just amazing, and that you wanted to bring it back a little bit. You can make a layer mask. Come over and click on the Layer Mask icon. And you're going to use black and chose your brush. And I wouldn't be removing this technique or the blur at 100 percent opacity. It's gonna look very funky. Let's do down to a small opacity, and a small brush. And you can just start painting back in some of that texture. I'm gonna go up to a little more than that. And you see that start to come back in now, and if you wanted you could do that on all the trees, or less as you went further back. Let's give you a better look at that. And you see how I brought that back in. And that would be your personal choice, if you wanted to bring that back or just leave that as more of a true panning look. That's you're artistic license that I gave you. Take that right out, and you make the decision. But you don't only need to do this vertically. Let's try a horizontal pan in Photoshop. So let's open it. Trying to make these bigger over here. Let's go to 30. Just a little too big. Okay, again Command J. I want a new layer. Filter. Blur. Motion blur. This time I don't want vertical blur. I want horizontal blur. Do you see what that did to the water? Let's look. It really smoothed the water out a lot. So let's go even a little bit more. That. And with this one I definitely wanna bring back some of the boats. Get that to fit here. Because I think they just kind of look like blobs, as is. So if I go to my layers. Well it did not, where is my layer? Let's start that again. (keyboard clicking) Alright. Hmm. Open, Command J. There's my layer. Alright! Back to Filter, Blur, Motion Blur, 248. Say okay. Now let's make a layer mask. Grab my brush, and I'm gonna need a bigger one for this. (keyboard clicking) And start painting. Roughly, I mean I don't want anything real precise here, but I just wanna bring back a little more detail in those boats, and probably these traps up here as well. You can go over it twice if you wanna a little bit more for certain areas of it. (keyboard clicking) But I think that it is just a more interesting shot. It makes me think of, if you've seen a lot of people have done the gondolas in Venice and if they shoot them with a slow shutter, and I think that you can recreate this with this technique. And that's as easy as it is. So if you wished you had done that horizontal pan or that vertical pan, go through your old shots and try this technique on them. And that way you get both. You get the straight shot as well as the in Photoshop shot. So let's look at a few more examples. This is one that I did with screen mode. It sort of to me, made it look like the leaves were falling with screen mode, and it didn't do that with normal. And this is one of my very favorite shots. This was first in the Maine Photography Show a few years ago. And here's a pathway at Acadia, And this is also, I believe with that same blend mode, and here's one with normal. So it just changes the look a little bit and I would encourage you to try the different blending modes. This is obviously with lighten mode. As you can see the real look of the falling leaves. I think it's a beautiful effect for autumn, and all of this was done in Photoshop. This is a little road in Ireland, that I wished I had panned (laughs). So through the magic of Photoshop I did. Another tree-lined road here. I did bring back a little bit of the bark, on some of the trees just to pull back a little bit of detail. And this is one that I did in New York City, and I'm not a city girl (laughs), as you might have guessed. And the noise and the motion was fabulous, but we walking down the street and I turned around and saw this guy with all these balloons walking across the street and it didn't look like this but in my mind it did because that's all I saw. Then I didn't see the cars and hear the noise. I saw him and I wanted to recreate that in Photoshop. So I went back in and took my shot of him, and created a motion blur horizontally to get the motion and the cars and thin out the other pedestrians so that they pretty much disappeared. There's just a ghosting of them. And then I made a mask and just brought him back. Just painted him back into the scene. So did it look like this? Only in my mind, but that's okay. And this technique let me recreate what I saw.

Class Description

Short on time? This class is available HERE as a Fast Class, exclusively for Creator Pass subscribers.

Make yourself stand out among nature photographers by adding a new dimension to your images. Painterly techniques draw attention to the delicate patterns, lines, textures, and designs that we often overlook in the natural world.

Kathleen Clemons is an experienced nature photographer, known for her creative techniques and her unique, stunning compositions. 

Join Kathleen for this class, and you’ll learn:

  • How to achieve the painterly look in-camera with slow shutter, selective focus, Lensbaby, and multiple exposures.
  • How to evoke the painterly look in Photoshop with panning.
  • How to use Topaz Impression and NIK software to make painterly photos.
In this class, you’ll learn how to create painterly images by using a wide variety of techniques. Kathleen will show you how to apply effects using in-camera settings, different lenses, Adobe Photoshop®, and low-tech tricks like applying vaseline to filters. Capture the magic of nature and turn your photography into remarkable impressionistic art. 



Wow. I really loved this class. I took her other class, "The Art of Flower Photography" as well. She is very thorough, explains concepts clearly and is professional, yet kind. I have been doing photography for decades, but flower photography is a little bit of a different animal. I have found it to be extraordinarily challenging - which is also invigorating! At the same time, using Kathleen's principles, I feel like I now have basic rules and tools under my belt which I did not have before. This is a little humbling as I have been doing photography for so long and was surprised there were a few basic concepts I didn't "get the memo" on. haha. This class will save me heaps of trial and error time. I will be much better able to zero in on what I really need to work on. I actually recommend taking both her Creative Live courses. Yes, there is a bit of overlap - but that little bit of repetition is actually helpful. They are not the same class. Oh, and one more "perk" get to view some of the most stunning flower photography ever created. Masterful. Thank you, Kathleen.

Donna Macri Stevens

As I've been watching this class, I have literally been sitting at my computer and saying aloud, "Wow....WOW!" This is an absolutely amazing class!!! I began watching it while it streamed, but had to buy it. Kathleen is an amazing instructor, and she is SO generous with her tips and techniques. I love that she supplemented her instruction with on-site videos, in class photo manipulation and so much more. If you love flower photography or want amazing tips on how to make your photos more painterly, CLICK BUY NOW! I'm just blown away! This is a GREAT, GREAT class!


Kathleen's images have a very artistic and painterly character, so she is a great presenter for this subject. In this class she openly shares many of her methods of shooting to create in-camera artistic images (even with your phone) as well as post-processing techniques. She presents this material with her open, calm, strong and passionate manner that gives you an "artistic license" to experiment and discover "What happens if?" I have admired her work for a long time and am so excited that she shares the secrets of creating her enchanting images here. If you are interested in capturing images that go beyond what you see to incorporate how you feel about a subject, you will love this class!