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How to Fake a Long Exposure in Photoshop

I bet you love long exposure photos. Who doesn’t? But sometimes you discover just after you’re back at your computer that a particular scene would have made for a great long exposure. Maybe you just did not realize it while you were at the location, maybe you had no ND filter with you to get those nice long shutter speeds and create a long exposure. Bummer! But maybe not all is lost here…

In this featured video tutorial, Blake Rudis shows you how you can still create a long exposure effect in Photoshop from a regular (short exposure) photograph.

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In a nutshell…

What Blake does here basically is to add a mask that allows him to just work on the sky. Then, he applies the Radial Blur filter to create those characteristic streaks of clouds in the sky. He uses smart objects to make this non-destructive and enables him to fine-tune the result. You will also see him use Topaz ReMask (not required though). After some additional processing, he is able to obtain a pretty convincing fake long exposure.

I would not recommend throwing away your ND filter and replacing your real long exposure technique with this Photoshop trick. But in some cases, it does a reasonable job.

Check out Blake’s website for more awesome Photoshop tutorials.

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3 Comments on "How to Fake a Long Exposure in Photoshop"


Guest
1 year 7 months ago

Thanks for sharing, Klaus! This is a good one. One of my favorites. I appreciate you sharing the knowledge.

Guest
1 year 7 months ago

Blake as usual you explanations are always excellent…..Thank you very much for sharing. Your friend José