‘Playing’ with Surface Blur and Radial Blur in ‘Slushy Puddles’

I took some shots of slushy puddles last week and was a bit unhappy with the exposures. For the most part, I shoot with the setting on ‘Automatic’, so it’s my own fault when I have to spend extra time in Photoshop (TM)…not that that’s a bad thing, of course, because I love to ‘play’, yet it can become time-consuming.

Here are the originals…see what I mean?

Really poor exposure...and I don't know why!

Really poor exposure…and I don’t know why!

This one delivered a very sickly, greenish cast...UGH!

This one delivered a very sickly, greenish cast…UGH!

This wasn't bad, as I really like the reflections, but it needed work, too!

This wasn’t bad, as I really like the reflections, but it needed work, too!

So, I set about my task, adjusting Shadows and Highlights first, then Levels, and applying pretty heavy Brightness and Contrast.  There was still the off-color factor, and no amount of Selective Color attempts could get these three shots anywhere near to matching!

“Time for black and white!”, I said aloud, then poured some more coffee and settled in.  After clicking Desaturate, then adjusting the Blacks, Neutrals, and Whites in Selective Color, I experienced more pleasure by the moment.  Toggling back and forth among the three now-B/Ws, they still didn’t have that ‘certain something’ that would make them a bit more appealing.  I walked away…and poured more coffee!

I ran each through Distort/Lens Correction to get a bit of Vignetting, which I normally do in very small increments, as it can get out of hand, and was still not ‘there’!  I tried a low Gaussian Blur after using Sharpen Edges (twice!)…that didn’t cut it at all!  That’s when I began experimenting with the other Blurs, none of which I had used previously…and you guessed it!  I found the perfect combination in Surface Blur and Radial Blur!

Playing with the settings in Surface Blur was something I had never done, so I poured more coffee and settled in again!  Here are the results of this ‘3 cup playtime’:

Slushy Puddle-1

Slushy Puddle-2

Slushy Puddle-3

The settings I finally used in Surface Blur were “5” and “Threshold at 32”, then utilized Radial Blur, with settings at “3” and “Zoom”,placing the center point for the sharpest area in a different spot for each image.

I was extremely pleased with the outcome and, as they say, “That was that!”