Shutterings and Mutterings - photography blog

Pink flowers distorted with zoom burst by Beowulf Mayfield

Zooming in on the subject

The autumn colours are taking their time to show through in London this year, which meant Crystal Palace Park looked a little dull today. However, dull conditions are common if you live in Britain so you just have to make the best of it.

In an earlier post I described the process of intentional camera movement (ICM), which takes advantage of lower light to create curiously blurred images. Today I worked with zoom burst, the process of twisting a zoom lens during a relatively short exposure.

For the shot above, I used a Nikkor 18-105mm zoom lens, set the shutter at 1/5, the aperture at f14 and kept the ISO at 200 - I choose to keep the ISO at the lowest setting to keep digital noise to a minimum. I choose to keep the ISO low because digital noise can spoil an image. Some might say I'm making life more difficult for myself but I find it's simpler to only have the shutter and aperture to worry about.

I focused on one of the flowers manually to avoid any shutter delay and simply twisted the lens as smoothly as I could while pressing the shutter.

Trees in Crystal Palace Park distorted with zoom burst by Beowulf Mayfield

The image above was achieved with similar settings, this time pointing at a larger vista. This can produce blown-out highlights so it's important to make careful adjustments to the aperture settings.

Holding the camera still is desirable, but not essential - it is possible to combine ICM by turning the camera body slightly as the zoom is twisted. However, this takes a lot of trial and error.

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