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This chapter is from the book

This chapter is from the book

Reception Photos: Making Them Dance

There’s a problem with taking photos of people dancing. If you shoot them with a flash (and most likely you will), it will freeze their movement, so they’ll look like they’re just standing still, but in somewhat awkward poses. It still amazes me how people doing a line dance can be pictured as people in a police lineup—the camera just doesn’t capture motion—unless you tell it to. There are really two techniques: the first is in the camera. It’s called panning, where you take the camera and follow the movement of one of the people dancing (usually the bride, groom, a bridesmaid, or a groomsman), while using a slow shutter speed so the rest of the people have a motion blur, which makes them look like (you guessed it) they’re dancing. If you didn’t remember to employ this technique during your reception shoot, then you can add this motion blur in Photoshop. The first step is to duplicate the Background layer. Then go under the Filter menu, under Blur, and choose Motion Blur. Set the Angle to 0°, then increase the Distance until things look like they’re really moving. The last step is to get the Eraser tool, choose a really big soft-edged brush (like the soft round 200-pixel brush) and erase over the person you’re focusing on (like the bride, etc.) so that person appears in focus, while everyone else is dancing and moving around having a good time.

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