This is a shot I took this afternoon on SC41 in the Francis Marion National Forest. Prescribed burns are regularly done in the forest resulting in the burnt trunks. As growth re-establishes in the area, a really cool contrast is created.
The photo above was edited in Photoshop by only tweaking the levels and curves… fairly typical for me. I like the shot, but the focal point and depth of field seem a little “off” to me.
Every once in a while, I like to apply motion blurs to try and get a cool abstract effect. Up until today, I only applied horizontal blurs to shots of the ocean. As soon as I pulled off onto the side of the road to shoot the forest, I realized this would be a perfect opportunity for to apply a vertical motion blur.
I’m very pleased with the result. However, just to play around with the effect, I started changing the blending mode of the motion blur layer.
This image (above) is the vertical motion blur layer with a darken blending mode. I feel like it adds a ghostly, computer animated effect… not really my style, but still petty cool.
Finally, I changed the blending mode of the motion blur to lighten. While it still has the computer generated animation look, I particularly like how the greens and light pop. It reminds me of an enchanted forest. Again, it’s not necessarily my style, but I like it.
Ultimately, for this particular shot, I prefer the second image (normal blur) over the others, but I’m really liking the lighting effects of the last image.