Friday, 27 November 2015

Intentional Camera Movement

The genre of Intentional Camera Movement (ICM) is not to everyone's taste, but the ICM images of Chris Friel and Valda Bailey are some of the most exciting photographic images that I have seen.

Over the last couple of years I have spent a few days exploring some of the possibilities of ICM. Despite the perception by some that ICM is "just waving the camera around" it really isn't that easy.

Classic starting points for ICM include groups of trees (slow vertical pans) and beaches (slow horizontal pans). It is relatively easy to get some pleasing images with these well-worn subjects, but my efforts with fully hand-held ICM (no tripod) have achieved a poor success rate. I have fired the shutter several hundred times in front of birch trees and now have three of four images that might be considered OK.

The nature of ICM means you do not have full control over the end image. There is inevitably a large element of chance in the end result. Control over the images is achieved mainly through the choice of appropriate shutter speeds, and appropriate camera movements while the shutter is open. Depending on the circumstances, shutter speeds between say 0.5s and 10 seconds might give optimum results. Post processing is also important, but this does not have to be complicated. Post processing can often be limited to careful cropping, and adjustments to white balance, contrast and clarity.

A few months ago I took some ICM images at Aberdeen railway station. I revisited the railway station a few days ago. Here are some of the results.