Thursday, July 23, 2009

Classic Dragging Technique

Image by
Rod Deutschmann
IFLC instructor

When it comes to the 'rules' of photography, one of the most sacred is that of holding the camera very still. If you were to ask any of my students about that ... they may just laugh.
Movement is an amazing thing, and so are blurs. Used well blurs can help you achieve a feeling of freedom and life that no 'crisp' in-focus image ever could.

In this image (and the one below) a simple drag technique was called into play. These are actually from week four of Painting With a Lens class. The image is of one flower of course and it's a tough shot for sure.

You actually have to visualize what you want, then paint it into your sensor.
Imagine for a second shooting this. First you're shooting in bulb — so you have to know deep down in your heart how long to hold the shutter down. Then you have to visualize the scene, since the viewfinder will go completely black. Next you have to know your lens, moving the camera (in the opposite direction than you think) making sure that the flower itself doesn't leave the frame. Of course you need to pause just enough to 'cook' in detail at the four (or more) different stages.

Oh and don't forget about the exposure/contrast/saturation/white balance factor — each of these need to be manipulated to accomplish the goal. There is no fixing this later in Photoshop gang. You either get it right the first ... or you go home empty handed.

Yeah this is a tough technique and, oh my, you won't get it on the first try and may even have to practice, make mistakes and learn something about your camera and yourself first ... but man are the rewards worth it.

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