Having Fun with Zoom Burst Photography
About a month ago, I got an email from one of the photography sites I follow with an article about zoom burst photography. I’ve always liked the abstract look of this, but have never tried it myself. After reading how impossibly easy it is, I set out to experiment. I’m having fun with zoom burst photography, and exploring all the different ways it can be used.
I shot this the other morning at sunrise, it was the perfect opportunity to use all the beautiful colors in the sky.
One thing I’ve figured out is what you are focused on makes a huge difference. Focusing on these bushes with sunrise behind, was perfect.
How do you do this you’re now asking. It’s pretty easy, you just need the right conditions and equipment. Basically, you slow the shutter speed way down, all the images I have shot here are at 1 second, which seems to be a pretty good setting. And since the shutter will be open for so long, it’s best to do this type of photography in darker conditions, like early morning, late evening, or even at night. Think city lights at night. If it’s not quite dark enough, and your getting blown out images, then stop down the aperture. I did that with a few of these.
Next, you need a variable focal length lens. I am using my 18-55 lens on my Nikon. Zoom in on your subject, press the shutter button, and quickly zoom back out. None of these images were shot on a tripod, just be steady and you’ll be fine.
This flower is the very first image I tried using this technique.
This saguaro was another first trial shot.
Next, I wanted to try it out on this deserted road. I played with settings a lot getting this shot, and ended up liking this 2 second exposure. When I was experimenting with all this, I read ahead on the Dogwood 52 challenge and saw this was one of the challenges coming up, very soon actually, week 8. I was pretty happy with this road shot, and decided that would be my submission for that week.
Then the other night when we were having our evening walk, I was playing around with zoom burst again. This shot with Al and the dogs in front of me turned out pretty cool I thought.
I took some of the sunset too.
Converting to black and white gives a different look.
Cholla cactus make a fun look.
So now I have all these images to choose from for the upcoming zoom burst week, I really like the ones I took at sunrise the other day. Which is your favorite?
One additional note, I did try to reverse the zooming technique. Start at not zoomed in, and going to zoomed in. That doesn’t work the same, and really didn’t produce a very good effect.
I hope you like this idea, and do some experimenting of your own.