Photoshop has numerous blur filters. This one, the Zoom Blur, is mixed in with the Radial Blur settings. The filter does not have a preview—only a grid style graphic. After one failed attempt, I went ahead and created a Smart Filter for the effect so I could double click on it and readjust the settings as many times as necessary. (Filter>Convert for Smart Filters)
This image was fairly straight forward. After the original image was adjusted in Lightroom, I exported it to Photoshop where I duplicated the layer, set it to a Smart Filter and ran the Zoom blur on the entire layer. The horse’s faces and the riders faces were blurred, so I painted black in the Layer Mask to bring back some of the sharpness to those areas (white reveals, black conceals). Lastly, I merged everything to a new layer (Control-Alt-Shift-E) and ran the image through Topaz Adjust. I tried several of the presets, then picked Color Burst. I added a layer mask to reveal some of the snow and hooves from the underlying layer.
Cropped: All things considered, this might be the essence of this shot. I still tend to go with the full sized image as it lets people know what is really happening. I thought this smiling horse was a fun element of the original image. The finals of the Cutter Race was held on Valentine’s day…notice the heart shape of the guy’s red jacket?
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