Lately, I have been lucky enough to discover and start corresponding with some photographers I really admire. I asked one if she had any tips to offer me to improve my photography. Her basic advice was to always try new things with my camera — different subjects, different focal lengths, different settings — and not to be afraid of mistakes.
I love this counsel because it’s so easy to stay in the old comfort zone, shooting in the same way over and over, especially when the results of your experiments don’t turn out the way you want.
In the last little while, I have been making an effort to branch out, and here is a recent effort to play with ICM, intentional camera movement. ICM is a photographic effect in which the camera is rotated or moved in a horizontal, diagonal, or vertical direction while photographing a static object.
I think I first saw some examples on flickr (there are several groups devoted to the technique) and I became quite fascinated with the dreamy, abstract images that resulted. So I did some googling for tutorials and found out more about the technique.
The technique works well with trees, so I tried it over Thanksgiving at the cottage. I won’t lie, my first shots were complete failures. But I kept at it, altering my movement and settings and checking to see what happened. But it was hard to know if anything was working until I was able to download my images to my computer and inspect them more closely. The image above spoke to me and made me happy. I’m definitely going to be doing more of this!
I love discovering new ways to make images that express my vision. There are so many sources of inspiration to stay out of a shooting rut and expand our photographic consciousness. What new techniques have you discovered lately?
Addendum: You know how sometimes you have to look at an image many times before you see something obvious but meaningful? I just realized that I should really call this image “The Road Less Travelled”…