August 09, 2008
a "Smart-Blurred" sky
click photo for full-size image
photo by Donald Kinney
Quite a while ago I figured out that Photoshop's "Smart Blur" filter can turn an otherwise ho-hum photo into something rather interesting. Photoshop offers a wide range of blur tools, including Box Blur, Gaussian Blur, Lens Blur, Motion Blur, Radial Blur, Shape Blur, Surface Blur, and my old favorite -- Smart Blur. Smart Blur blurs the inside detail while retaining the clarity of the edges -- pretty smart, huh? With Smart Blur you have two main settings; "Radius", which (for a 640x427px final image) I usually set to 3 -- and "Threshold", which I usually set to 25. Changing those values will lead to a variety of results, so that's where the fun of experimentation comes in.
While first learning Photoshop most everybody goes-wild experimenting with the wide variety of other filters -- and really, some of them are truly amazing -- but it's best not to over-do them too much, as they can become tiresome after a while. But like I mentioned, they're sometimes great for turning an otherwise ho-hum photo into something rather interesting...
Here's a photo of you know who, using the Radial Blur:
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