Von Wong’s Guide To Visualizing Movement

A Benjamin Von Wong tutorial. Presented by WACOM

The following is an excerpt from the tutorial by photographer Benjamin Von Wong, that appeared in Issue 4, YOUR PORTFOLIO

Von Wong is well known for his hyper-creative, mind-blowing images. Learn his approach to visualizing movement in this detailed tutorial presented to you by Wacom.



Montreal-based epic photographer and visual engineer,


Create More Magic 

In this tutorial, Benjamin Von Wong will show you how to optimize your artwork and mystify your audience with the help of a motion blur effect. Step by step, the visual artist lays open his work process in Photoshop.

Step 1: Select Your Favorite Image

Pick the best image in Adobe Lightroom. Using stars, rate the image that you’re most interested in.


Step 2: Start Compositing

Drag the image into the file and begin masking out edges.

One of the key things to do when creating a composite is to make sure that no edges ever show.

Mask those out gently (without worrying too much about the details) using a large soft brush. This works well without having to go through the trouble of doing any selections.

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Listen to what Ben has to say about limitations:


Step 3: Create a Gradient Background

Since we didn’t take the time to do a proper selection, let’s continue being lazy and create a gradient layer in the background by simply sampling from the original backdrop to black and drawing a gradient on a new layer. This will become the new background layer.

Screen Shot 2015-09-15 at 12.11.51 PM

Capturing blurred elements in camera using long exposure:

RE_MG_8705 RE_MG_8710


Step 4: Begin Isolating Proper Motion Blur

Before you do anything else, prepare these files in Lightroom by increasing contrast, boosting highlights and dropping blacks.

Go back into Lightroom and sync all photos you’re going to incorporate into your artwork to a nice high contrast file. This time we’re going to be boosting highlights, dropping shadows and generally increasing contrast as much as possible in our images to capture the desired blurs – the idea being that we will only see the lighter areas in the photo when composited in.


Screen Shot 2015-09-15 at 12.17.24 PM

Step 5: Mask in Different Elements

Use the Transform tool to make the different pieces work, use the Screen Blending mode to only see the blurs.

Now that we’ve got the blurs, all that needs to be done is to simply overlay them on top of our edits. The idea is to try and line up the various colors so that they look “convincing.” Try to imagine the lines of motion that would be created by a running person and place the motion blurs accordingly.

Use the Screen Blending mode so that only the light parts shine through.




Read more in Issue 4, YOUR PORTFOLIO. Coming in PDF format soon!

Check out our Issue 1, SUCCESS and Issue 2, ADVICE in PDF format as well.

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