Saturday, April 3, 2010

Shooting images while moving the camera!

Most of the time, photographers and regular picture-takers are trying to keep the camera as still as possible when we shoot our pictures so that they are in focus and as sharp as can be. But there are times when I like to move the camera to create special effects. Last Saturday was one of those evenings where I couldn't resist the urge to play around with the light.

We were at our relative's house in Roseville, CA and they had a party in their backyard. When it started to get dark, my brother-in-law turned on some lights that he had strung in one of the trees. And, since I had all my camera gear for their daughter's wedding, I started convincing my relatives to come over to the tree and let me create some fun images of them.

For this shot, I used my Canon 580EX II flash on the camera and fired the camera at 1/3 sec. I start twisting the camera, and as I am twisting, I fire off the shutter. What surprises most people (including me) is that the flash freezes the subject but the long shutter still gives you the motion in the background.

Now, the first thing that happens when you shoot like this is, your subject will look at you like you are crazy. You get that quizzical look that basically says, "Hey, dummy, you are moving the camera while you are shooting me!"

For this picture, you can see that the streaks of light are longer. The shutter of the camera was open for 1/2.5 of a second (which is actually a little quicker than the shot above) but I twisted the camera faster for this shot of my daughter and my nephew.

Then I decided to try a similar effect by keeping the camera still but zooming the lens to create a different streaking effect for the lights in the tree. And I got this image...

This image was one of my favorites from the evening. Why? Because my nephew asked me if I could combine the twisting motion of the camera and the zooming effect at the same time. I had never tried that before. So, I gave it a shot and got this images. I really like the way that the lights seem to surround Jake, another nephew. This is why I love photography...there is always a chance to try something new!

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