Winter abstracts


When winter closes in and the bare bones of trees are revealed, I like to create abstract images using ‘intentional camera movement’, or ‘panning’.

trees panned

This technique is very easy.  Simply select a slowish shutter speed and move the camera while the shutter is open.  It helps to start the movement before pressing the shutter and to  finish just after the exposure, to avoid jerky shapes in the image, unless that is what you’re after, of course!  I also find the results generally much more pleasing if you move the camera in the direction of the dominant shape in your view, so vertically for trees.

panned forest

Trees are not the only subject for this sort of technique.  I have also panned landscapes, although there I move the camera horizontally rather than vertically.  But winter forests do seem to be particularly suitable subjects.

I couldn’t resist including a mysterious figure in the last two images.   The final one is for my son’s horror film project.

panned winter forest

Do you ever play around with this technique?  Please feel free to share your panned/camera movement images or other winter abstracts in the comments below; I would love to see them!

31 thoughts on “Winter abstracts

    • Hi Chelsea. Yes,the first one is my favourite too. I like the way the colours bleed into the white. I do have a lot of fun with these. I love the random nature of the technique, never knowing exactly what you’re going to get.

  1. Amazing! Love the creativity here. I’ve never seen anything like it. Looks very ethereal and haunting. Especially the one with the figure in. Perfect for a horror film!

    Really need to experiment more like this, thanks for sharing this 🙂

    • Thanks, Jaina! It is a lot of fun :). I have had a short break from on-line activities, but am looking forward to catching up with everyone over the Christmas break.

  2. Wonderful photos, Rachael. I cannot pick a favorite, I really like them all! And like what Jaina said on her comment above, the last one is perfect for a horror film.

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