Intentional Camera Movement

There are different techniques to producing creative images while moving your camera in one or more fashion.
Let’s cover some ICM techniques that make some common sense. This will go in direct conflict with everything I’ve always preached regarding using a tripod to achieve sharp images through enhanced stability. ICM effects are achieved by using longer exposures generally up to half a second. I’ve found that in most cases 1/8th of a second exposure is a good start. To work with wider apertures on a bright sunny day you may want o use an ND filter or even a circular polarizer to help reduce the amount of light entering the camera.

Vertical Movement :

This is pretty simple and often seen used with trees as a subject. This makes sense as the vertical geometry of a tree gets enhanced by the technique. You’re technically moving the camera angle slightly up or down… kind of a quick flick up or down…You can even wiggle from left to right to add to your end result.

Horizontal Side to Side movement:

A slight pivot on the horizontal line can create interesting effects with the horizon and circular movement on closer ground objects. With a slow speed and a handheld exposure it’s like a pan if you use it in one direction following a subject or you can quickly wiggle back and forth, a single or multiple times until you get the desired effect.

Circular motion:

Most often used pointing up at a tree-covered sky, you’re simply moving your camera in a circular motion while keeping the lens pointed steadily in the direction of your subject. With some subjects, I would experiment with longer than usual exposure times to get the full effect.

There’s a whole variety of little movements you can try with a variety of exposure times. From little check mark movement to circular motions with your lens, don’t be afraid to experiment. I would avoid exposing longer than 1/2 a second as you may just lose the definition of your subject completely.

Steve Troletti.

I chose a circular motion with a slight pivot on the street lamp in front of the church. Here are two pics : the first is the original one and the second with circular motion.


WEEK 50: Intentional Camera Movement – 2017 Trevor Carpenter Photochallenge


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