Welcome to another edition of Why it Works, where we share and highlight a page from an awesome scrapper in our gallery that utilizes a really cool technique, a design trick, a photography tip, journaling ideas or any number of other things to get you scrapping outside your comfort zone. We hope to share and inspire you to try something new, revisit an old technique you may have forgotten about, or maybe just approach that blank canvas in a new way. So, here are some of the things you can do to be involved in this thread if you want to be. 1. Ohhh and Ahhh over the awesome layout or project that has been highlighted and head over to the gallery and show the scrapper some love. 2. Learn something new from the tip or tutorial. It's all about becoming better at our craft! 3. Try the technique yourself and post it in this thread for us to see. 4. Show off other pages from the gallery that use the technique as well. Be sure to link them so we can give them the love they deserve! 5. Ask questions about the technique that you may have or tell us how you may do it differently. There are many ways to do these things and this thread is all about the learning! *note: this is not to be a critique of the page/project in any way, it's all about learning to emulate the awesome technique highlighted. Any negative comments about the highlighted page will be deleted.* ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- For today’s edition of Why it Works, I’m calling attention to blurry photographs. So many times we strive for tack sharp photos and the perfect shutter speed to stop motion and freeze time … but what about those photos where the blur helps to tells the story? Blur can highlight movement and can be a fun technique to round out our albums. Take a look at what @twinsmomflor did with this beautiful page: It's an amazing example of how using motion blur in photography can help tell the story. You really get a sense of the movement of these beautiful dancers! Love it. And this clean page by @AnnePC is another great example of using blur in photographs. I love the way the slightly blurred arms and hands (with snowballs ready to launch) help tell the story that there’s a snowball fight going on here! It’s fun, playful and the blur is such an amazing part of this page. Maybe the next time you set out to photograph a moving subject consider slowing that shutter down to try and capture some of the movement. Here’s a quick guide (from photosbypassy) I found for suggested shutter speeds to stop movement with different subjects. As you can see, chosing a shutter speed can really vary depending on how fast the subject is actually moving (and then also your aperture, ISO and the lighting available will effect the outcome of the photo). So aim to slow down your shutter speed below these guidelines in order to achieve the blurred effect. You can also play around with adding blur in Photoshop if you weren't able to capture blur in camera. Under Filter (in the menu bar) there are quite a few blur options to work with. I used Motion Blur on a photo I had of my son leaving the house for the first day of school his senior year. He was super excited to finally have a parking permit and not have to take the bus. I wanted the jeep to be in focus but everything around him to have a little motion blur. This would be known as Panning Blur and is not the easiest technique to achieve in camera, so let's try to fake it with Photoshop. (I'm using PS CC 2018.) Here is my original photo: I created a duplicate copy of my photo. I used the quick selection tool to roughly paint over the jeep - you may be able to see the marching ants (my selection) around the jeep in this image. I added a mask to the duplicate copy layer. Since I had a selection (the jeep) active, the layer mask automatically hides everything outside the selection. NOTE: With layer masks, black conceals (hides) and white reveals (shows). The layer mask automatically hides (makes black) everything not inside the selection. If we were to add a blur to the photo - only the jeep would have the blur effect. This would be a perfect way to blur an object like the hands with the snowballs as in AnnePCs example above. But since the look I am going for is a blurred background, I can just press Command + I (mac) or control + I (PC) and the mask will be inverted like so. Now the jeep is black and this means that when we add our blur to the photo, the jeep is hidden from that blur filter. The blur will take effect on everything but the jeep selection. IMPORTANT: Before you go to Filter and choose one of the blur filters, make sure you click on the thumbnail of the image. There should be a black outline around the photo thumbnail, not around the layer mask, as shown above. Now go to Filter in the top menu bar and choose one of the Blur options. I used Motion Blur. Here are the setting I used: Angle -33 and Distance 79. If you have Preview checked, you can see what the effect will look like on your image as you are playing with the settings. Everything outside of the jeep selection is blurred. This blur filter creates little lines that give the effect of in camera panning. And here is my before and after image: Here is my page with my fake motion blur photo: Or if you’d like to skip all those steps, you can buy a set of photoshop actions right here! Valorie Wibbbens has a set of 5 photoshop actions inspired by Lensbaby’s lenses. I have these Fauxto Baby actions and they are really fun, quick and easy to use. So what about you? Do you try to capture blur in camera? Have any tips and tricks to share with us? Or do you prefer to add blur in post processing? Regardless of how you achieve it ... we'd love to see your pages embracing the beauty of photographic blur!