Making an Impression

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Spring is on the way… finally! The snow banks are melting quickly, and as the ground turns to mud, things are starting to get sloppy. You can definitely feel the warmth of the March sun as it gets higher in the sky though… that is, when it actually makes an appearance from behind the gray clouds! A brief morning walk in the Bangor Forest this morning didn’t offer many especially interesting photographic opportunities, so I decided to try making one of my favorite kinds of photo… an impressionistic rendition of an average scene!

Just for kicks, I am including what the scene looked like when photographed using a traditional approach, followed by what it looked like when I selected a slower shutter speed (1/5 of a second) and slowly panned the camera up (or down) through the scene. Even though this might not be one of my best examples of this kind of photograph, hopefully the “before and after” helps show how relatively simple it is for anyone to start experimenting with this technique.

I chose this scene mainly for the strong lines of the trees, hoping that the subtle pockets of green and blue would show up against the warmer brown tones of the tree trunks and the snow-covered forest floor. As you can see, the lines, shapes and colors all become blurred, creating a simplified photograph which – at least for me – is somewhat pleasing to the eye. With better light and perhaps a more interesting composition, this technique allows for the creation of some pretty impressive, and often quite unique, photographs. Give it a try.

Check out more of my “impressionistic” images 🙂

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