How to Use Intentional Camera Movement

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Duration: 9:41

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You have the best camera gear, and your outdoor photographs are sharp and clear, the colors vibrant. But what if you pushed the envelope and got even more creative? In this premium video lesson, Outdoor Photography Guide’s expert photographer David Johnston takes you to a grove of cypress trees for ideas on intentional camera movement.

Your first lesson is that you don’t always have to keep your camera anchored to the tripod. David favors ICM or intentional camera movement. You take your camera off the tripod, switch up your focal range and your camera motion, and use your hands to institute intentional camera movement. To prepare, you need to set your exposure times anywhere from 1/50th second to two seconds. Your goal is achieving a motion blur.

David looks for specific colors, lines or shapes in the trees. Zoning in on a cypress grove, he concentrates on symmetry and repetition. He sets his camera on a two second timer, and with an up and down camera shake, he creates an abstract of vertical color lines. You can also use horizontal moves to achieve waves of color.

Another idea is to point your camera up and make an oval motion. The effect is a dazzling spiral. The goal of intentional camera movement is to create painterly photographs in the tradition of abstract paintings in an art gallery. Be sure to experiment through varying shutter speeds. David sets his camera on the two second timer at 125th at f8. Focusing on spreading branches, he wobbles his lens up and down. The result of this internal camera movement is almost like an oil painting.

Join Outdoor Photography Guide’s nature photographer David Johnston for this premium video on intentional camera movement. Your favorite outdoor locations will take on a whole new vision, and you might have some fun along the way.