Shutterings and Mutterings - photography blog

Example of intentional camera movement by Beowulf Mayfield

Camera shake in the woods

For me, woodland photography is an exercise in coping with low light. If I feel strong, I carry a tripod for long exposure work. If not, I slow the shutter down anyway and indulge in a little intentional camera movement (ICM).

The shot above was captured by simply moving the lens upwards as I pressed the shutter. The shutter speed was 1/10 and the aperture was on f11. It's best to set the lens onto manual focus - auto focus can delay the exposure a little because the camera desperately tries to focus itself. Best to relieve it of that pressure and let it concentrate on doing what it's meant to do - letting in the light.

The results can sometimes look a little like an impressionist painting and, as I'm a big fan of impressionism, that's what I really like about this technique.

You can try panning the lens sideways but that's better used on an open, flat vista such as the sea and the sky. When you're dealing with vertical details like trees, vertical movement is best.

Further reading: 50 Photo Projects: Ideas to Kick-Start Your Photography by Lee Frost or New A-Z of Creative Photography: Over 50 Techniques Explained in Full, also by Lee Frost are both worth looking at.

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