After Before Friday: Geranium blur

The After Before Friday Forum is hosted by Stacy from Visual Venturing, it features a monthly behind the scenes look at various editing processes.  Featuring a gathering of photographers all keen to learn from each other, each week we post an image before and after editing.If you want to find out more, or just visit and look at the images, click on this link.

The geraniums in our garden are looking very nice, but it always seems that whenever I want to photograph them the wind picks up and they won’t stay still. Rather than getting cross about it, I thought I would use it to my advantage. With the idea of using Photoshop to merge two images, I took one  to capture the detail in the centre of the petals and one at a longer shutter speed to capture the motion blur.

Here are my befores

Screenshot 2015-07-01 12.45.37

I opened the images in Lightroom and removed a couple of sensor spots with the spot heal tool on the blurry picture before selecting both photos and opening as layers in Photoshop.

In Ps, I used the move tool to align the pictures, and then cropped.

I needed the top layer to be the blurred one, so I had to swap the layers over, then I added a white layer mask to the second layer.

Screenshot 2015-07-01 12.44.58

Using the brush tool I painted black onto the centre of the flower to bring through the sharp areas, then I switched to an airbrush and painted in some of the coloured veins radiating from the centre.

I decreased the opacity of the layer to reduce the blur, then I duplicated this layer and feathered out more of the background to create different levels of blur and reduced opacity to 50% also.

Then I added a curves layer to bring out the contrast and give it a little more “punch”

Finally I brought the image back into Lightroom.


I’d love to hear what you think.

There will be lots of other interesting After Before Friday images on Stacy’s post, including the reveal of the One Photo Focus, so go on, pay her a visit.

In fact, this month’s One Photo Focus is one of mine, so go take a look.

Anyone is welcome to join in the One Photo Focus, it happens once a month and we all edit one image however we like, often with some very interesting results!


13 thoughts on “After Before Friday: Geranium blur

  1. A marvelous bit of editing. I love the stark contrast between in focus and blur, the entire image really has my attention. And, I totally hear you with your frustration with the wind! Beautiful creation.

  2. This is the type of photoshopping that can be dangerous. So subtle and accomplished. If someone wanted to fool us, the general public, why there’s no telling what nefarious deeds they might think of; erasing years from aging celebrities, making fat people skinnier, convincing us there are actual aliens amongst us!

    1. How kind of you to say that my photoshopping is accomplished, it appears I have convinced at least some of the general public! The aging/skinnying/airbrushing thing would be opening huge can of worms, I think (hope) the feminist in me would scream NO!!!!! But aliens, now maybe thats an idea for next month!! 😉

  3. Katie, I LOVE how you came up with a such a creative solution to dealing with the wind. Your process and final edit is just stunning! The stamens (I’m pulling from high school biology here and that was a very long time ago, so excuse me if I’m using the wrong term 😉) just jump off the page, and with that beautiful deep purple background, well, wow!!! Now, enjoy every single second of your family vacation 😀

    1. Thanks Robin, I’m grateful for your feedback. I found this fun and very satisfying to do. I liked capturing the movement with the static element. I’m hoping to get some more practice doing this.

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