Photography Zoom Effect Racking the Lens Technique
Friday, 17 September 2010 17:02
A zoom effect in photography terms is where you capture an image which looks like the subject is moving either towards you or away from you with a motion kind of lines.
A zoom effect in photography terms is where you capture an image which looks like the subject is moving either towards you or away from you with a motion kind of lines. It’s also known as racking the lens. What I’m writing today is where the effect is created or done while shooting the image through camera and not the post production techniques (in photoshop terms its call "radial blur"). During my assignments I would look for opportunities where I could apply this technique where possible just to provide more variety for my client.
3 basic steps to achieve the effect
1. Set your shutter speed to a longer exposure
2. Composed, focus and take a shot.
3. While taking the shot between when the shutter opens and actually closes, you need to zoom in or zoom out your lens (Lens & Accessories).
As usual you need a lot of practice in order to be able to capture a nice zoom effect and that’s what fun about photography.
Tips to help you get better results
Choosing the shutter speed – Choose a shutter speed long enough to zoom your lens from one end to another. There is no one standard setting on your shutter speed in order to achieve the effects. There are few factors to consider. Always look on the situation at the point of your shooting.
1. Level of available lights.
2. Type of lens you are using.
3. Amount of movement of your camera or the subject
Again, always experiment with different shutter speeds and see the result. Different setting may result in different level of effect.
Aperture – While aperture setting is not the most critical to obtain a nice zoom effect but when using a slower shutter speeds you might have a problem in over exposed situation (depending on the overall lighting situation) as it lets more light into your camera. You can cope with the potential over exposed situation by selecting a larger aperture (large f numbers).
Zooming – To get a nice smooth motion lines in your image, you need to be able to zoom smoothly and constantly (nice smooth flow while zooming). Do not speed up at one point and later slow down at another point while zooming.
It does not matter if you either zoom in or zoom out to get the effect as zooming in on a subject will give you a different result than zooming out. Try both way and you will see the different effects.
Make use of lights – Lights can produce really spectacular effects.
On one occasion I captured a photo during a stage performance where the stage was well lighted with colourful lightings where else the foreground where the audiences are seated where dark. In this situation I fire my flash gun just enough to freeze the subjects on the foreground.
During the long exposure, I managed to freeze part of the image in this case the video crew and the audiences while getting movement behind it (in this case the stage performers) and around it.
Hope this is a useful tip. Keep a look out for more photography tips and tutorial. Enjoy and have some fun with your camera. Remember to practice and keep practicing.
Excerpt from picturecorrect.com
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