It seems like a longtime since I’ve added a post to this blog and since I did any camera-motion abstract photography. Well today (Sunday, September 11, 2016) I did take my camera out, put on a neutral density filter and cranked the shutter speed down to 2 seconds. The day was cool, wet and gloomy but I imagined to find some color and these interesting images:
Color can be hard to find for months during the long Edmonton winter.
However, with a bit of light and a long exposure photograph …
Even when out walking about taking photos I like to mix things up. I might shoot images that I think have the form to work well as black and white and then I will shift gears, drop my shutter speed way down and generate some camera motion abstracts.
Here are a selection of photos from my recent photoshoot in Calgary, where I abstracted images in the downtown area. There is a suggestion of the hard lines of urban forms but they are softened and there is a sense of familiarity but you can’t quite focus and identify the forms.
In my previous post I shared 5 abstract photos from a 2014 February 17 photoshoot. Here are another 5 from that particularly creative and productive batch.
As with most of my previous abstract photos, my basic technique is to use a long exposure (made possible by a neutral density filter) and then move the camera in a particular direction during the exposure. Post processing to emphasize color and contrast is usually also required.
Someday, I am looking forward to using some of these photographic images as inspiration, starting points for large paintings.
Sometimes creative success comes upon me by happenstance. Today I was on my way to the studio to do some painting and as it was a nice morning I decided to walk through the river valley and take my camera with me. As I was leaving I realized that I didn’t have a polarizing filter with me but I did have my neutral density filter so I changed plans and decided I’d focus on some long-exposure camera motion abstraction,since it had been awhile since I’d done any photography in that vein.
As I reached the river valley I noticed runners, lots of runners, with numbers – there was a race going on. It was the Edmonton Heartbeat Run and that was very fortunate as it gave me lots of (moving) subjects and color to work in to my abstract photos. I snapped away, unsure of what I was really capturing but when I got home and processed the images I was quite pleased with what I had:
Not much to say about this group of photos, other than that they were all taken using long (4 seconds) hand-held exposures with deliberate camera motion. The early morning time of day is responsible the dominating blue cast to these images.
Three abstract images from photos taken this morning in Edmonton’s river valley but first the natural look of the river:
This long exposure photo was taken from near the same viewpoint but also included some brush from the near bank:
This next image captured the river at an angle with a snowy foreground:
and finally another composition featuring bands of color from the open river, frozen river, river bank etc.:
Today (2011 November 12) Edmonton had its first (and unusually late) snow of the season. While there are many thing about the snow I am not a fan of, I have been looking forward to applying the camera-motion abstraction technique that I’ve been playing with in recent months, to the snowy landscape. Here are some of my first results:
As with my previous photos in this style, the original intent was to give me reference images for paintings. However, so far I have not been able to create a painting that I like as much as or better than the photo (which is okay – for now).
My basic technique in this style is to use a neutral density filter to allow me to get a 2 second exposure. During the exposure I move/shake/vibrate the camera around vigorously. Post processing usually is required to increase contrast and color saturation.
Five photographic experiments from today (2011 August 18).As I have been playing around with recently, the name of the game is motion-abstraction (i.e. using a slow shutter speed and moving the camera during the exposure. For something different I also combined zooming the telephoto lens while sweeping the camera on some of these shots:
With Indigo Blur I took advantage of some colorful deep blue flowers that I came across in a neighborhood flower bed. I use a straight horizontal pan of the camera to create the abstraction.
Motion and zoom to abstract that last one with some sunflowers, as with these next two which were taken downtown:
You might think that rain and photography don’t mix – I did. First there is just the hassle of trying to keep your camera dry or your lens unspectled. Today I decided I was going out with my camera (Nikon D80) and just tucked it under my rain jacket, pulling it out only for a quick shot. I also mad a point of keeping the lens pointed down when not in use to minimize the possibility of raindrops striking it.
Perhaps a bigger deterrent to taking the camera out is the fear that there will not be anything to take a picture of. The environment looks very devoid of color – just grey and green everywhere. Also it is relatively dark so one is forced to resort to higher ISO and/or lower f-stops for handheld shots. Or….one couldchange their approach.
Today, that is what I did. I decided I would deliberately go with slow shutter speeds – like around 1/4 second! I wasn’t going to worry about holding the camera steady. In fact I was planning to deliberately move it during the exposure ( a technique I have been playing with recently). I thought this approach was quite successful. I captured a number of images that I was quite happy with. In fact, I think the camera motion added signifcantly to reinforcing the feeling of rain – the directionality and blurring.