Martinique Dancer, Waynesville, NC - 2013
(Click on photo to enlarge.)
Many of the software filter effects that are available to digital photographers have very limited usefulness in my opinion. So many fall into the "gee whiz!" category - interesting, but hard to find an application for. My favorite plug-in, Virtual Photographer by OptikVerve Labs, has over 200 one-click presets! It's amazing what options that gives me, but honestly, there's only about a half dozen that I find really useful.
The Radial Blur filter that comes with Photoshop Elements is one that I can only remember using twice in the nine years I've been using the program. The photo above is the second time. The dancers from Martinique were the most "active" of all the groups I saw perform at Folkmoot. As a result, I ended up with more blurred photos of them than usual, even shooting at ISO 400 in good outdoor light. In this photo, instead of trying to clean up the blur, I added even more to emphasize the sense of motion. On most photos, radial blur seems "gimmicky". On this one, it allowed me to salvage a photo that I would have otherwise deleted, and turned it into an interesting image.