Recently, I’ve been trying my hand at creating blurred, impressionistic-style images using Intentional Camera Movement, or ICM for short. Like all forms of photography, there’s been a learning curve involved but I’ve been getting some interesting results of late.
In this technique, the photographer deliberately moves the camera during an exposure. The camera can be moved in any direction – horizontally, vertically, or diagonally. You can also move the camera in a circular, jiggling, shaking, or whatever random motion you wish. You might even zoom the lens in or out or simply move the camera forward or back. There are no rules. Slow shutter speeds up to several seconds are used, in order to blur the image while the camera is being moved. This type of photography requires a lot of trial and error, and patience. No two pictures are alike and you may have to take hundreds of exposures to get one or two images that look good.
These images can have a dreamy, painterly quality to them. On some photos, the subject matter might be blurred but remain recognizable. In others, everything might be transformed into unrecognizable abstract shapes.
Landscapes and waterscapes with strong vertical or horizontal lines, and scenes containing colorful vegetation, flowers, and trees are perfect for ICM photography.
At first, my ICM images were anything but artistic or creative. They were blurred alright but it looked like the photos were overexposed, out-of-focus mistakes. Once I started concentrating on composition, and experimented with different shutter speeds, while varying the speed and direction of my panning motion, I gradually began to see an improvement. Being able to view the images instantly on the back of my camera was helpful, as it allowed me to make adjustments between shots.
ICM images are highly subjective, and whether or not you like them is a matter of personal taste. I’m one that finds them interesting and pleasing to look at. What about you?
Hey Vic: A great path you are on…keep experimenting; keep playing with it. Look at the response from blog followers! It’s Art. By far my favorite series so far (also like old glass bottle still life pics). “Crowsnest river layers” has a great mood to it…
Thanks for the encouragement. I had a lot of fun with these photos. Much different from what I usually do. I always struggle when it comes to trying to do something artistic. One day, I hope to have more time to do this sort of thing. I have a few more blur photos that I may post, maybe next time. Good to hear from you!
The first shot of the poplars in gold on what looks like the TU property was my favorite although I really enjoyed all the pics you put in this article. Thank you for sharing your creativity with us as the many photographs with accompanying commentary keep all of us connected to the Pass and its beautiful rivers, streams, and friendly people. I look forward to each blog post!
The photo of the poplars near the river was one of my first blurs that seemed to turned out okay. I’m glad some of my pictures and words help keep you connected to Crowsnest Pass. I look forward to seeing you next season. Thanks for your comments. They are appreciated!
Vic: Very interesting concept. I seem to have unknown talent as some of my images end up that way without trying.
I agree, intentional blur photography is an interesting concept. In the past, I’ve also taken my share of unintentional blur photos. More than I like to admit. Thanks for stopping by!
As for me, I like them. A creative endeavor.
I’m surprised someone hasn’t come up w/ and marketed a camera or tripod attachment, a motor-driven “driver” for the ICM.
Colder here; winter must be somewhere down the road.
Stay warm & dry there.
Blur photography is a lot different from what I usually do, but it’s kinda fun. You can get similar effects right in Photoshop but I think it’s nicer to do it in camera. We had our first blast of winter in early October. The weather has been not too bad since then, though. Stay warm there, too!
These are beautiful Vic. I really like what you are achieving!
I’m glad you like the photos. I appreciate your comments. Thanks for visiting my blog!