Intentional Camera Movement Photography

March 8, 2011 | Mark Goldstein | Photography Techniques | Comment |

Another reason is that long exposure times allow lots of light into the camera and we need to compensate for that somehow in order to avoid a totally overexposed image even at the lowest ISO.

When photographing in bright sunlight you might even have to use an ND filter to further reduce the amount of light entering the camera.

Now comes the fun part. Press the shutter and move the camera while pointing in the general direction of your subject.

For a smooth result, start the motion before opening the shutter and don't stop until it closes again.

Different movements yield different results, so try panning, rotating or moving the camera back and forth, or a combination of any of those.

Keep in mind that a subtle motion can have great effect, so no need for wild gesturing.

Intentional Camera Movement Photography

By moving the camera parallel to lines and edges that are already present in the subject you can emphasize those and make them part of the composition. This often gives the image a more "realistic" look, as if the image is of a real object instead of just abstract patterns yet the object doesn't look anything like the one you photographed.

Intentional Camera Movement Photography

One thing I, a recovering control freak, find very therapeutic about intentional camera movement photography is that it forces one to let go of total control over the end result because it's practically impossible to shoot the same image twice. This lends the whole exercise a certain excitement factor. Each time you press the shutter you capture a different slice of time and space that just magically emerges on the LCD display of your camera. It's so much fun that sometimes I find it hard to stop photographing because I'm curious what the next shot is going to look like.

So give intentional camera movement photography a try. Maybe it'll get your creative juices flowing enough to - pardon the pun - move your photography in a new direction.

Intentional Camera Movement Photography


Armand Dijcks is a photographer and filmmaker continuously exploring the possibilities of visual media. He lives in in Rotterdam, The Netherlands with his wife and two mischievous cats.

Your Comments