Jul 13, 2011

The Fine Art of Intentional Camera Movement

I am always interested in capturing the day to day in an unusual different way. One technique that I frequently use is intentional camera movement. Intentional camera movement or ICM is a photographic effect where the camera is rotated or moved in a horizontal, diagonal or vertical direction while photographing a static object. The camera can be hand-held or mounted on a tripod when performing the actual camera movement. I usually prefer using my tripod for best photography results. The right combination of shutter speed, aperture setting and ISO setting will produce the desired blur and an artistic abstraction of the scenery. A long enough shutter speed is the key ingredient and allows the camera to paint the photographic object in its abstract form. There may be lots of trial and errors in the beginning and it may take a while to develop your own technique but it certainly provides you with unique set of photographs and lots of fun.

In my first two photographs from the beautiful Boston Arnold Arboretum I placed the camera on my tripod pointing upwards towards the tree canapes. During the exposure I rotated the camera that resulted in these tree carousel like photography images. In both images the aperture was set to f/8 resulting in 1/30 sec and 1/4 sec exposure times for the fall and spring image respectively.

In this next summer photo I tried to apply the intentional camera movement technique to one of my flower photographs. Here I hand-held the camera and set the aperture to f/8 providing me with a slow enough shutter speed of 1/10 second. I then focused on a bunch of Blacked-Eyed Susan flowers in the garden and moved the camera up and down to create an abstract floral photography blur.

For the sunset photograph I set up my tripod at Brace Cove in Gloucester after a late afternoon shoot of Rockport Harbor and motif #1 on Cape Ann. I exposed long enough at 1/10 second to allow for intentional camera movement with my camera across the Brace Cove, capturing this abstract seascape photograph of this most beautiful sunset.

The last image was taken on beautiful Cape Cod. Here I moved the camera in the direction of the incoming rolling waves resulting in an abstract impressionistic early morning seascape photograph. The aperture was set to f/8 resulting in 1/2 second exposure time.