Blur on pur­pose

A lit­tle cam­era move­ment can lead to a cre­ative in-cam­era ef­fect

NPhoto - - Special Feature -

Mod­ern sen­sors of­fer a level of im­age de­tail that has never been pos­si­ble un­til now. It’s an ex­cit­ing time, but im­ages are not just made up of pix­els, they’re also made of colours and shapes, and there’s some­thing to be said for a com­plete lack of fine de­tail.

Blur­ring a scene with cam­era mo­tion is one way to elim­i­nate de­tail and re­duce it to ab­stract smudges that give the im­age a pain­terly feel. In the shot be­low, tip­ping the cam­era up and down over the course of a quar­ter-sec­ond ex­po­sure has led to ver­ti­cal blur that was more ef­fec­tive than the sharp version of our scene.

In some sit­u­a­tions you may need to use a lens-mounted ND fil­ter to block some of the light in or­der to achieve a shut­ter speed slow enough to al­low for a lit­tle cam­era move­ment (see page 86). But in a shady spot like the woods here, us­ing aper­ture-pri­or­ity mode with a low ISO and a small aper­ture was enough to slow the shut­ter speed down suf­fi­ciently.

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