Photography Techniques: Zoom Effect

Photography Techniques: Zoom Effect

Photography is not just about capturing a scene that is unfolding in front of you; it’s about seeing the world differently and allowing others to see your point of view. If you would like to have a little more fun with your digital camera next time you go out or to a family event, try experimenting with different techniques such as the zoom effect.

Radial Sun Ray - photograph created by Melissa Fague - Abstract Photography

Radial Sun Ray – photograph created by Melissa Fague – Abstract Photography

The zoom effect is a technique that photographers can do to create the effect of motion in a photograph. The motion lines that the techniques creates in the image helps isolate the subject and can create some very interesting photos to hang on your wall.

There are a few ways to get the zoom effect; some are done through the camera while shooting and some in post-production techniques. With post production there are several ways this can be accomplished, however I find that trying this effect while out shooting is so much more interesting and fun.

The zoom effect is created by setting a slow shutter speed, to be a longer exposure and then while taking the shot. Meaning, the shutter of the camera will be open longer than you are normally used to having it open, so you will have to have your camera set on manual exposure. That being said a tripod may be very useful to you depending on the lighting of your scene. And finally, a zoom lens will be helpful, but again something that is not necessary; I’ll explain that in a moment.

To Be Still or Not to Be Still – You will be using a slow shutter speed so any movement of the camera will significantly impact your photograph. So if you would like your subject to be in complete sharpness, this is where a tripod or sturdy platform will come in handy. Having the camera stationary also helps with the smoothness of the motion lines that will be created. However, get creative! The world is your oyster; having a little camera shake from hand holding your camera could add more interest.

Slow Shutter and Light – Because your shutter will be open longer, your camera sensor will take in more light and could bleach out the details. To cope with this issue set your ISO to the lowest setting and adjust your aperture (the F number). The higher the aperture setting is the less light that hits the camera sensor. This aperture setting will depend on your scene, so just play around with the setting until you hit the sweet spot for your creation. Low light situations are ideal for this effect.

Zooming – A zoom telephoto lens is a good way to get this effect but like I stated earlier it is not necessary. Once you have your scene set up and your camera settings set you are now ready to take the shot. The zoom lens will allow you to zoom in or out as the shutter is open. This is what makes the motion lines in your image. Depending on which way you zoom, the lines and the focus on your subject will appear differently. If you do not have a telephoto lens you simply move the camera manually by either taking a step closer to the subject or away from the subject as the shutter is open.

The zoom effect is a really interesting way to display your creative side and your subject. The more you practice, the more your skills will grow and the more you will see that the possibilities are endless. Try to add a flash. Try doing a partial zoom at the very last second; zoom in slightly… zoom in fast…each will have its own unique effect on the photograph. We hope you enjoyed this article, if you would like to read more please visit our website at: PI Photography and Fine Art.