If you have been following this blog you know by now that I have become fascinated by the effect that moving the camera while the shutter is open can have on an image. The interaction between the light, the movement, the shapes, and the colors intrigues me. This past weekend I wandered down to Acadia National Park to continue the experiment. I did do some “traditional” photography and I might share those at a later date, but here is a sample of the images containing movement that I came home with. Hopefully you can see the detail in these small web-versions… seen large they are quite a bit more impressive.
Often while driving along I find myself momentarily grabbing a glimpse of a scene, wondering if it would make for an interesting composition. This might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but I find it very interesting, and when I have a camera in my hand I find it very exciting.
I love the opportunities found under the canopy of trees, especially when there is warm side lighting and depth between the foreground and background elements. There is something tranquil about these images, something peaceful and calming to me. I like how the scene become simplified, how their success depends on the positioning of the elements within the frame, and how the light impacts the entirety of the image.
When I find a composition that I think might work for this type of image, I begin to experiment with several variables that combine to make it all work. The length of exposure is crucial to this process, and I have found that an exposure of anywhere between one quarter of a second and one half second can render the best images, though this of course totally depends on how much movement is introduced, and what your goal for the image is.
Many of my first attempts have involved moving the camera in a vertical direction, and so far this is where I have had most success. I usually make at least 20-30 exposures of each scene… some are silky smooth, and some are not… depending on the scene and the elements within it, you may want to accentuate some part of it by altering the amount of movement.
Experimentation is the key here, and this is part of what excites me most about this type of photography… that and the fact that anyone can do this – all you need is a camera that permits manual control, and the patience to try, try, and try again.
Oh yes… and the willingness to endure the quizzical stares from people passing by who are wondering just what the heck you are doing waving the camera at what to them will probably seem like a far from stellar landscape 🙂