Long Exposure & Intentional Camera Movement

Intentional Camera Movement: Try it!
You don’t have to be an artist or a photographer, you don’t even have to have a quality camera to create some interesting images. A simple digital point and shoot or an iPhone can create unusual photos using ICM.
Intentional Camera Movement (ICM) is a photographic effect in which you move your camera while your shutter is open. ICM creates interesting random effects by  panning, rotating, sliding, shifting or even tossing and throwing your camera.
For my first experiments I used an inexpensive Canon point and shoot (the iPhone works well too). As those cameras usually have no manual setting that let you chose Shutter Speed or Aperture, you have to wait for nightfall. Just after sunset is a good time to experiment. The camera picks up the low light conditions and automatically slows down the shutter speed. With a bit of movement during this second or two, you can create unusual abstractions.
Later I switched to a semi pro digital camera which allowed me to manually experiment with setting different shutter speeds, aperture and ISO. Not being an experienced photographer turned out to be an advantage as so
many of my “mistakes” ended up being interesting ICM photos.
If you google “Intentional Camera Movement” you find lots of tips and examples.

ICM & Professional Photography
The works of professional photographer Chris Friel  and Doug Chinnery are a beautiful example for painting landscapes with a camera. Artist Ed Pien took his photos from a speeding train traveling across the English countryside shortly after a winter storm. Professional Photographers who work with ICM often use neutral density filters to be able to take this type of photo during the day. Chris Friel kindly shares a lot about his technique on his web site.




One thought on “Long Exposure & Intentional Camera Movement”

  1. Corinna Lehming
     ·  Reply

    dear Sabine,

    thanks a lot for your inspiring homepage. You gave me the key to my question ‘ how can I make my photos more fluently, how can I express the movement’ which is always there or better here :). I am also very connected to mother nature in all it’s aspects. Since my early childhood she was and is still my nearest teacher, lover, friend.
    with love Corinna

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