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Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Photo Impressionism - Zoom & Flick

I demonstrated the swipe/blur technique at a workshop this past weekend. This technique is all about coordinating the shutter release and the movement of your camera. Sunflowers make a great subject for this technique. The first time I visited this Sunflower field I made about 250 photographs. Out of those, over 200 were abstract and photo impressionistic.

It's very easy to create photos that are abstract. It's much harder to create a photo impressionistic image, especially in the camera. Being able to understand what the subject is and yet see it rendered in a different fashion is always more intriguing.

I flicked the camera a little to come up with the first image.

I then added a little bit of a zoom in the second.

The off-center zoom dominated in the third image.

After the demonstration of the technique I felt like playing a little to see what I could come up with. That's when I starting visualizing an image that had only a few Sunflowers recognizable and the rest of the image as a blur. The zoom & flick movement seemed the most likely to render that result. In this fourth image, it finally came together.

We don't always have to take a photograph of reality. And contrary to popular belief, we don't have to use software to go beyond reality either. That's when imagination and technique come together. We might not always be successful but it never hurts to try.

Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens - July 24
C&O Canal and the Potomac - Sept. 26
West Virginia Fall Tour - October 7-10 (4 spots available)
Great Falls - October 30-31 (only 2 spot available)
Great Falls - Nov. 6
Photoshop for Photographers - Nov. 7
Chincoteague Island - November 19-21 (4 spots available)


  1. Anonymous21 July, 2010

    I enjoyed seeing the progress through your 4 photographs of this technique. It really is a great example of the imagination and technique together. Thank you for sharing this. Joanne K.

  2. Nikhil,
    Striking images and an excellent technique to make the ordinary extraordinary.

  3. Thanks Joanne and Josh! It sure is fun to see what we can come up with.

  4. Very nice man...

  5. This comment has been removed by the author.

  6. What is the format (size and shape) of the second photograph? I'm asking because I'm doing a school assignment :)