I love making this type of image. On the one hand I get to experiment and channel my inner artist to create something that is unique and personal, yet on the other hand the technique used is so simple that anyone can make this kind of image.
Similar to traditional landscape photography, choosing what to include in the composition and where each element is placed within the frame in relation to each other is key… as of course is the quality of light. I look for compositions where moving the camera through the scene will define and accentuate shapes, shadows, colors and lines. To me there is almost a painterly feel to these impressionistic scenes, and in some there is a luminosity and glow when the elements all blend together. Trees are a favorite subject of mine for this style of image, and in the one above I returned to a favorite place.
The path leading from the Nature Center past the Wild Gardens of Acadia and toward the Jesup Trail takes you by some beautiful tall grasses and several stands of birch trees that, in the right light, are absolutely spectacular. I choose a shutter speed of 0.5 seconds and let the camera select the corresponding aperture that it thinks will render a correct exposure. I then pan the camera in a vertical movement while the shutter is open, check the histogram to make any necessary exposure adjustments, and then go to work on trying to capture a scene that I like.
The images below were all created using a similar technique – each was captured on a wonderful hike to Bubble Rock earlier on this same day. As I wandered along the trail, the fresh spring leaves on the canopy were being backlit by the morning sun, and the intense greens contrasting with the rain-soaked earthy browns of the trees and trail made for some striking opportunities.
I think a big part of what I like about this style of photography is that every time the shutter is pressed the result is different. I can make a dozen images of exactly the same scene, and depending on the speed and direction of movement employed, each will be unique. Though I realize that these images are not everyone’s cup of tea, I am intrigued by them and that’s what matters most 🙂