How can I fake a zoom burst?

I love trying out your tutorials and would really like to have a go at creating the zoom burst effect that I have seen in the magazine. There are lots of flowers in my garden that I think would look great when shot with this technique. I know that you need to zoom out while taking the shot, but unfortunately I only have a compact camera that won’t let me do this. I know that you can do all sorts with editing software, so is there a way I can cheat and recreate the effect using Photoshop Elements?

Chloe Willis, via Facebook

Zoom bursts are a great way of adding a sense of movement to photos of stationary subjects, and produce some creative and dramatic results. The technique is really easy to do in-camera, as you just need to set a slow shutter speed of around 1/8secs and zoom in or out while the shutter is open. Just make sure you place your main subject in the centre of the frame and focus on it so that it stays sharp in the middle of the zoom burst. If you can’t achieve this effect in-camera or have an existing photo you want to apply the effect to, then you can easily recreate it using the simple steps below.

Add zoom blur Recreate a zoom burst effect in Photoshop Elements

01 Add zoom blur

To begin, go to Layer>Duplicate Layer and click on the Filters tab. Then go to Blur>Radial Blur. In the dialog box, select Zoom as the blur method.

02 Adjust the blur

Once this is done, drag the centre point of the Blur Centre grid to line it up with your main focal point. Then you’ll need to adjust the Blur Amount slider.

03 Refocus the centre

Add a layer mask to the blurred layer and select the Brush tool. Change the brush colour to black and paint the detail back into the centre of the shot.

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