January.04.2011 · Posted By - Paul

This tutorial concerns itself with camera movement (panning, shaking, rotating, and zooming) while the shutter is open.  Doing this presents a feeling of movement as well as a passage of time.  Photographs taken this way can vary from abstract to pure non-representational.  While most people try to hold cameras as steady as possible to avoid blur and camera movement some movement can be used to great artistic effect.  These images were taken with shutter speed usually between .5 to 2.5 seconds.  Here are some examples of what you can do:

The following photo was done through the use of panning.  Panning basically means that you follow a subject while the background moves in relation to the subject.  The C-130 JATO image below was taken at Miramar air show and shows the aircraft itself frozen while the background blurs.  Panning can give a strong sense of motion:


The following photos were taken in the front yard.  One shows the effect of rotating the camera while the shutter is open, the next shows an example of camera shake.  This shaking up and down caused the trees to take on a soft and dreamy look.  The next shows what happens when the shutter is left open long enough and the shaking is fast enough.  At this point the image has become non-representational.  It’s hard to tell what you are looking at.  The bottom image shows an effect of zooming.





The following show a set of photos taken indoors.  These are very colorful and highly abstract.  In some cases you will see people.  Other times the abstraction is so great you can’t tell what you are looking at.






The following photo was taken by Shane Moss (Rampant on Flickr).  Called “Late for the Train” Shane took this photo while heading to a train station.  He simply left the shutter open while he jogged down the street.


There will be other blogs that will talk about long shutter speed photography but this particular blog is a little different in that camera movement occurs.  In other cases the camera will remain relatively stationary and everything else will move or change around it.

  • Von

    Impressive! I should try it.

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