The Energy of Motion

Tony here once again to discuss a camera technique that seems like something so simple but can be quite complex. I recall getting my first ever zoom lens a lot of years ago. It was a Nikkor 43-86 for an old Nikkormat body and it was magic to me at the time. The first technique I tried to master was the zoom/blur.  The idea was to shoot a very slow shutter speed while zooming the lens while the shutter was open. It produced the coolest effects and I often did this for personal pictures but never professional work. That is, until I needed to change the energy of a picture.

Fast forward to 2004 and the shooting of a financial firm's annual report. I was in a trading floor in downtown Los Angeles as the stock market trading day began. It was really early on the west coast as they live and work on New York time. The room was full of young traders working and sitting in front of a lot of screens making deals. But the energy was low low low. 

It's a really simple thing when you think about it. Just slow down the shutter speed quite a lot.  In this case, it was a one or two second exposure with a slow zoom during that "open lens" time.  Starting the movement before you begin assures a smooth, "non-jumpy' picture with a smooth looking zoom.

I know you have all tried this but go try it again and think about the different and more importantly, the useful ways in which this technique might help out with your work.  Here is a fave of mine from Rob that the movement helps to make it just plain fun and give it energy...