Quick Tip 104

Creative Blur Without Post Processing

The photo above is what I see in the morning before I have my coffee.  Photographers use creative blur to give the illusion of motion, either towards or away from the viewer.  I’ll be honest with you, taking a creative blur photograph like this is difficult.  You will have to try taking 20 or more shots sometimes before you find one your happy with.  If you want it to be perfectly clear then you’ll have to add creative blur in post processing like most everyone else.  For those of you that enjoy doing as little as possible in post processing then this is what you’ll need to do:

  • Turn down the lights or close your aperture (or both) until you have a relatively slow shutter speed (the photo above was shot at .4sec, ISO 200, f10).
  • Compose the photo as you normally would, focusing on what you want to be in the center of the blur.
  • Use a tripod (the photo above was hand shot and you can tell) to secure your camera very tightly.
  • As you push the shutter button begin zooming your lens in so that it zooms all the way through the shutter opening and closing.
  • Review the photograph on your LCD and try again.

Note:  Tighten your tripod as tight as you can so that when you zoom the lens you are unable to move the camera from side to side.  This should eliminate the blur you see on the photograph above.  Good luck!

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