Join Justin Reznick for an in-depth discussion in this video Taking a colorful tree bark image using ICM, part of Creative Photography Techniques.
- Now that we've done horizontal ICM, or Intentional Camera Movement, it's time to move on to vertical. And what's a better vertical subject than trees, they are perfect. And most of my ICMs that I have, that I'm proud of are of trees and that involves the vertical movement. Remember, we want to flow with the natural movement of our subject. Now, we're in a very, very special situation right now. On the island of Maui, we have this incredible rainbow eucalyptus tree. Its bark is so colorful that it's screaming at me.
This is an ICM, this is going to look phenomenal and so, this is a playground, I'm having a ball. So, what I've got here is my long lens, okay, remember, most ICMs are going to be with a long lens so that I can isolate exactly what I'm shooting. What I want to do is only photograph the bark of the tree, I do not want to get anything on either side, I don't want the sky, I just want the tree. Imagine trying to do that with a wide angle lens, it would be incredibly hard to do. So with the long lens we can isolate, okay.
Now, shutter speed, this is so crucial. I've been playing around and I found that about half second with a nice motion is when I'm comfortable. I've got a 3-stop neutral density filter on my lens and with a 3-stop, I'm able to slow it down and using a little bit of play with aperture and ISO, I can go from, you know, 50 of a second to five seconds. And through change my ISO, 50, 100, 200, I've been able to kind of play until I'm around about a half second, and that's where I'm liking it.
Let's go over that motion here, so, remember it's through the viewfinder I can frame the subject, okay, in this situation, because I want to really work on the vertical lines I'm actually turning the camera vertical. If I had a grouping of trees, most likely I'd go horizontal because it's a nice juxtaposition of vertical trees with a horizontal frame. But in this situation, I'm going to stay vertical 'cos I'm so tight. And I can either do kind of a knee bob, like this, or I can do just a head motion.
And what I've found here is I'm just doing a slight motion like this. Now, I like to be in burst mode, or a continuous mode when I'm shooting. And that way, I just hold the shutter and because I'm using a mirrorless camera, I'm getting instant feedback. So as I put my eye to the viewfinder, I'm seeing each image pop up on the screen and it's telling me move faster, or move slower. So it's this wonderful play. So as I'm going, I'm constantly adjusting on the fly. Now, if you don't have that instant feedback, what I'd suggest is you're in high speed mode, you do about a burst of maybe five or six and then you review the images and think, hmm, this looks a little bit blurry, I need to move faster so it really looks blurry.
Or, this looks so blur I have no idea what I'm looking at, I need to slow down a little bit. Because the key here is intent and ICM only works if you meant to do it. If it's just a little bit blurry, it looks like wow, you didn't take the time to get a sharp image, that's not what we're going for. We're going for a very artistic representation of a colorful, beautiful bark. Alright, let's see some more.
So how do you know when you're done? Well, part of this entire idea of creative, of being, you know, thinking outside the box and experimenting, is that, I could do this all day, I mean literally, 'cos every shot is slightly different. So, take your time, use as much time as you want, it's digital, in this situation here I'm not paying for these images, I've got them on the SD card. So, I'm just going to keep playing and having a good time, come back in, look into my Lightroom and really take my time and choose. So, basically, there's no I got it in the field, it's more of, of experimentation, trying different comps.
I've got multiple trees, I can try different trees. So, just have a great time experimenting and take as much time as you need.
- Taking creative multiple-exposure approaches
- Using intentional camera movement for unique looks
- Applying Topaz texture effects to blend textured backgrounds
- Turning photos into creative impressions