How to create a long exposure cloud movement effect: steps 7-12
7 Improve the composition
Once you’ve blurred the clouds, the sky will become the most interesting part of the scene, so use the Crop tool to remove some of the unwanted foreground at the bottom of the frame. This small change enables the sky to dominate the landscape.
8 Sharpen the image
Click the Detail tab, and zoom in to view the image at 100% so that you can see how sharp areas really are. Drag the Sharpening Amount slider to 64, and set Radius to 1.5. This gives the texture in the image more bite without the effect looking artificial.
9 Switch to Elements
Now that you’ve done all you can to improve the landscape’s colour, tone, composition and sharpness, click Open Image. This takes the shot into the standard Elements editor, where you can access more creative image-editing tools.
10 Convert to 8-bit
By changing the bit depth to 16-bit we were able to maximise quality in ACR. However, most of the standard Elements editor’s tools and commands don’t work with 16-bit images, so go to Image > Mode > 8 Bits/Channel to convert the image to 8-bit.
11 Make a selection
Take the Quick Selection tool from the Tools panel, and click and drag over the sky to create a ‘marching ants’ selection. Click the Subtract From Selection button in the Options bar (or hold down Alt) and paint to deselect any light foreground areas you select by mistake.
12 Copy the sky
Press Ctrl+J to copy the selected sky to a new layer, which will be named ‘Layer 1’ by default. Press Ctrl+J again (or drag the ‘Layer 1’ thumbnail onto the Create New Layer button in the Layers panel) to create a copy of the sky layer (‘Layer 1 copy’).
PAGE 1 – How to create a long exposure cloud movement effect: steps 1-6
PAGE 2 – How to create a long exposure cloud movement effect: steps 7-12
PAGE 3 – How to create a long exposure cloud movement effect: steps 13-18
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