Add a long exposure effect in Photoshop

Welcome to our Photoshop tutorial, where you can learn how you can add a long exposure effect to a photo in just one minute.

This amazing effect can now be applied to any photo almost instantly! Using a saved set of operations in Photoshop, it is easy to use to process any photo. View our incredible set of photo processing examples on Photos Photos and enjoy this effect in seconds!

Note: The author used paid materials. In the archive you will find an alternative version of the images to perform the lesson.

Step 1

Let’s take action. Open a photo in Photoshop; here I will use this glamorous portrait:

Now go to Window (Window) – Operations (Actions) (Alt + F9) and create a New operation by clicking on the icon in the upper right corner. You can call it Exposition. When you are ready, click Record (Record) at the bottom of the panel to start recording the next steps.

Step 2

Create a New Layer: Main Menu – Layers (Layer) – New (New) –Layer (Layer), call it Mask. Via Hard brush (Brush Tool) (B), paint over the subject with any color to create a mask. Choose a tool Magic wand (Magic Wand Tool) and create a selection of the created mask, and then go to the background layer and duplicate it six times, clamping for this Ctl + J. Hide the visibility of the masked layer by clicking on the Eyes icon next to the layer window.

Hold down the Shift key, click on the first of the lower duplicates and use the tool Move (Move Tool) (V), move the image to the right or left with the arrow keys. Make this procedure for the four lowest copies, position them as in the image below. Then install Opacity (Opacity) of these layers by 50%.

Step 3

Right-click on one of these layers and go to Overlay options (Blending Options), go to layer style Gradient Overlay (Gradient Overlay) and add a black and red gradient, with settings like the image below, and then copy and paste this layer style to the three other layers with the offset image: right-click on the layer and select Copy layer style (Copy Layer Style). To insert, select Paste style layer (Paste Layer Style).

  • Blend Mode – Light replacement (Lighten)
  • Style – Linear
  • Checkboxes on options: align by layer, and inversion.

Step 4

Merge these layers together: select all four layers, right click Merge layers (Merge Down). Duplicate the merged layer once, apply the Blur in motion filter to the copy: Filter (Filter) – Blur (Blur) – Motion blur (Motion Blur) with a radius of 100 pixels. Then duplicate the blur layer again. Set on the bottom layer with a gradient the blend mode on Linear light (Linear Light), then select two layers above it (with blur), and set opacity (Opacity) by 64%.

Right-click the topmost layer (sixth copy) and go to Overlay options (Blending Options). Uncheck options Red Canal (Red Channel) in Advanced blending (Advanced Blending), and then move the layer to the left using the arrow keys and activating the tool Move (Move Tool) (V).

Step 5

Lower the opacity (Opacity) for the layer below (5 copies), up to 70%, and then apply the Filter: Filter (Filter) – Blur (Blur) – Blur in move (Motion Blur) with a radius of 10 pixels. Complete this effect by adding a layer mask: click the button Add layer mask (Add layer mask) to blend images in the background. Do this by painting with a black soft brush on a white mask, remove too sharp borders.

Step 6

When you’re done, be sure to click the button. Stop (Stop) at the bottom of the panel Operations (Actions) to use this action for future photos.

Here is the final result.

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