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Paris on Fire

Let's see, where were we? Ah yes, abstracts. One of the things I've been playing with--for reasons that'll eventually become clear--is moving the camera intentionally. Funny thing is that I first encountered this as a filmmaker (and no, I don't mean pans, I mean haphazard or camera motion not with or on subject). And it's intrigued me ever since.

Now let's see, what if I had an icon, a reflection in the window of a bus that drove in front of me, and a bunch of other stuff. Heck lets add some people walking with some strange lit contraptions (Vegas is like that. Oh, did you think this was France?). What could I do with all that? That's today's lesson.

I was getting frustrated by all the traffic in front of the spot I had chosen to try An Eifel Tower Landing shot when I realized that maybe I should just embrace the chaos and see if I could incorporate it. This is one variation I came up with, which now had me trying to time my camera move on the Tower with the timing of the bus coming in on the left. Yikes.

But I must have liked what I was seeing. I had dozens of variations on this when I downloaded the card. Maybe some day I'll go back and try to actually get the shot I previsualized ;~).
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6 comments
 
hi, +Thom Hogan . i'm sure you must be aware of Tony Sweet's intentional camera motion landscape and nature abstracts. although i choose a different subject matter, i have, out of necessity, had to work with deliberate camera motion blur for years. sometimes you just have to go with the flow. because of the lenses and focal lengths i prefer and the times and places i have to shoot, i have to start out the day picking whether it will be a blurry kind of day or a sharp one.
 
This is something I learned from my stepson when he was about 10 years old - he used to take pictures of things sometimes while waving the camera around like a drunken madman.  Not all the time, but sometimes, and some of the images were absolutely amazing. Not just of lights, but also flowers, people candids, all kinds of situations. When I asked him how he knew what to do, or when to try it, he said he didn't know - but it doesn't cost anything to try a bunch of ideas with digital. DOH! Since then I've done some of the image+movement shots, mostly of lights, and sometimes with a zoom thrown in, and they are (sometimes) lovely images that feel truer to the emotional impact of a location than the frozen moments. When faced with subjects that I know have been shot tens of millions of times, I give this a try. Doesn't cost anything. And sometimes it's truer than static shots.
 
Love this picture, and love how you took a difficult situation and had fun and experimented with it. The image is abstract but recognizable, which I think makes it interesting.
 
Embrace the Chaos, I love the way you expressed that. As a sharpness freak your image offends me.... (Joke) I rather like the colors and movement. Not the sort of thing I would hang on my wall, but as an exercise in composition it is interesting. I wish you had swooped the lines out to the right and then up Kind of counter clockwise, that would be a more interesting movement pattern.
 
+Lloyd Shell I have a lot of different patterns I tried, some more successful than others. The reason why I chose this one for the teaching point is that the tower here is exactly the way I wanted it, almost as if it had arrived from the sky like a comet (e.g. trailing light trails to a strongly recognizable tower). The problem I had with the lens/position I was at (this is with a Samsung NX, so I only had one lens choice, which sort of limited me) is that I had to deal with a bunch of other things that didn't fit the choice for the tower. Embrace the chaos is exactly the problem and the teaching point. I could have (and did) do a shot where I just get the tower the way I wanted it (which means cropping a lot of the frame). But I decided to see what I could come up with for the whole frame. Some of the other examples are harder to describe, though probably better as photos. I picked this one because I think most people can, from my description, "get" the bus window reflection (blue/purple intruding from the left, and which is showing part of the Bellagio behind me).

But as they say, if a comic has to explain the joke... 
 
Funny. I walked by this scene multiple times last week and it looked just like this. The minute I saw the palm trees I knew it was las Vegas, and the image perfectly captures the chaos of that place.

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