Adding Digital Zoom-Zoom to a Mazda

I love import drag racing and have been know to take my old GTI 337 down the strip just for the fun of it. Living on Colorado we don’t have much of a winter racing scene, except for the ice racers, of course, but that doesn’t mean that even cars parked indoors at a car show can’t look like they’re racing. Let me show you how to do it in just four steps:

Mazda drag race carStep 1: This photograph of Mazda RX-7 drag racer was made at the International Auto Salon in Los Angeles using a Canon EOS D-60 digital SLR with 16mm Sigma lens attached. Exposure was 1/60th of a second at F/16 with an ISO setting of 800. Color balance was set on Auto and it did an acceptable job with the mixed lighting sources in the LA Convention Center. Even while making it, I recognized that several things that needed to be done with this image to make it better but the most important was eliminating the cluttered background.

 

iCorrect EditLab ProStep 2: I think it’s a good idea to make an image look as good as possible before starting any manipulations and in this case it meant improving the overall color. I opened the image file in  Photoshop and applied one of the best power tools available for fine-tuning color. PictoColor’s iCorrect EditLab Pro and using it is as simple as 1-2-3-4, which is how the tabs in it’s interface are set-up. Just waltz through the tabs gradually improving how the image in the preview window looks as you go.

Radial BlurStep 3: Now that I had the image of the RX-7 looking good, the next step was creating a duplicate layer (Layer>Duplicate Layer) that I labeled “Zoom.” All subsequent effects will be applied to the duplicate layer, leaving the original image (below) untouched.

Step 4: In the Layers window, click on the Zoom layer to select it. zoom-zoomThen apply the Radial Blur filter (Filter > Blur >Radial Blur) while making sure the Zoom button in its dialog box is checked. Three qualities of blur are available and I choose “Best” because it give more subtle shadings, but be aware that, depending on your computer’s power, “Draft” and “Good” blurs are rendered much faster. The amount of zoom is set in pixels and determines the length of the blurring. Use the preview windows to move the “Blur Center” point where the zoom will originate. I selected the area near the Mazda logo on the hood.

Still working on the Zoom layer, use Photoshop’s Eraser tool to clear out areas allowing part of the car in the Background layer below to show through. I began by using the Eraser at 100% opacity (selected for the Options bar) to outline the car, but then used lower opacity levels to erase potions of the inner car to make it look like it’s in motion while it’s really parked.