Add Motion to Your Photos

with 10 Comments

Add Motion to Your Photos
by Syndee Rogers-Nuckles

Adding interesting effects to your photos is one of the best things about Photoshop and Photoshop Elements. With filters and effects at your fingertips you can do things with your photos that you can’t replicate with a digital camera alone.

In this tutorial you’ll learn how to take a photo and add motion with the Radial Blur filter.

Step One: Prepare the Workspace

  • Open a photo (File > Open) you would like to add the Radial Blur filter to. **For best results choose a photo where the focal point is in the center of the photo.
  • In the Menu Bar, choose File > Duplicate. Click OK.  (Photoshop: Choose Image > Duplicate.)
  • Close the original photo (File > Close).

Here is the photo I will be working with.

little boy play in water

Step Two: Add the Radial Blur Filter

  • Press Ctrl J (Mac: Cmd J) to duplicate the layer.
  • In the Menu bar, choose Filter > Blur > Radial Blur.
  • In the dialog box, set the Amount to 58, the Blur Method to Zoom, and the Quality to Best. If the subject in your photo is not centered, click with your mouse and drag the Blur Center to line up with the approximate center of the subject. Click OK.

little boy play in water

Step Three: Erase to Reveal

  • Get the Eraser tool.
  • In the Tool Options, open the Brush Preset Picker and choose a Soft Round brush. If you don’t see a Soft Round brush, open the menu and choose Default Brushes. (Photoshop: Open the menu, choose Reset Brushes, and click OK.) Set the Size to 300 px, the Opacity to 80%, and the Type to Brush. (Photoshop: Set the Size to 300px, the Mode to Brush, the Opacity to 80%, and the Flow to 100%.)
  • Directly on the photo, click and drag to erase over the areas where you want to reveal the photo layer below. To change the size of the brush, press the Right and Left Bracket keys.


little boy play in water

Step Four: Move the Photo onto a Scrapbook Page

  • Press Ctrl E (Mac: Cmd E) to merge the photo layers.
  • Save the photo (File > Save As) with a unique name.
  • Open a layered scrapbook page (File > Open) on which you would like to use the photo.
  • Click on the photo document to activate it.
  • On the document, click on the photo and drag it onto the scrapbook page.
  • In the Layers panel, click on the photo layer and drag it into the top position.

Here’s my finished page with the Radial Blur photo. I can’t wait to see what you come up with in the Digi Scrap Tutorial Gallery.


Page & Photo: Syndee Rogers-Nuckles, Chepko Danil
Kit: ScrapSimple Digital Layout Templates: One Word by Syndee Rogers-Nuckles
Software: Photoshop Elements 14, Adobe Photoshop CC 2015


Download PDF


Interested in digging in deeper?


Low Poly Pictures by Christina Rambo
Low Poly Pictures by Christina Rambo

Low Poly Pictures Video Tutorial
by Christina Rambo

Low Poly is a functional technique that has become a popular art form because of its colorful, geometric look. Create pictures, portraits, and backgrounds that will amaze your friends using this easy and fun technique!


Double Exposure by Syndee Rogers-Nuckles

Double Exposure Video Tutorial
by Syndee Rogers-Nuckles

I often long for the days of  film cameras and the anticipation I felt when opening up that envelope of newly developed photos. Today we are going to revisit a film camera technique and create a double exposure effect.


Watercolor Canvas by Jen White

Watercolor Canvas Video Tutorial
by Jen White

Turn any photo into a beautiful watercolor canvas complete with hand-drawn pencil lines and watery brush strokes.BLANK



Syndee Rogers-NucklesAuthor: Syndee Rogers-Nuckles | Contact Us
All comments are moderated. 
Please allow time for your comment to appear.

10 Responses

  1. Cindy
    | Reply

    This is a really cool effect! Thanks so much for sharing it!

  2. Shaunna
    | Reply


    • Syndee Rogers-Nuckles
      | Reply

      Thanks so much Shaunna!

  3. Anita
    | Reply

    So cute! Thanks!

  4. chris
    | Reply

    Wow Syndee this is great, I am going to try this for a background on my greeting cards with a flower in the centre, wish me luck

  5. chris
    | Reply

    Wow Syndee, must give this a go, I hope it will work for background on a card with a flower in the centre, wish me luck

  6. Carol B
    | Reply

    Thank you for this great tutorials Im sure Ill find a photo to use for this one its marvellous

  7. Donna
    | Reply

    When I looked at this blog post, I knew I had the perfect picture to add to a layout using this technique. Thanks for such fun tutorials!

    • Syndee Rogers-Nuckles
      | Reply

      So glad you like it!

    • Syndee Rogers-Nuckles
      | Reply

      I can’t wait to see what you come up with Donna!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.