Easy Special Effects: Creative Blur

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One of my favorite things about Photography is that I am constantly learning.  Every time I pick up a book, magazine, or even my camera I am always learning a new technique that will make my photography even better.

Last month I was in Barnes and Noble and I picked up the magazine, Practical Photography.  I fell in love with all of the helpful tutorials and information in the magazine, and will definitely be going back to pick up the August issue at some point.  One thing I really loved was a tutorial on how to do special effects with a zoom lens.  It took a few tries to get it right, but the effect was amazing once I got the technique down!

A Beginner's Guide to Special Effects : Learn how to use your DSLR to capture unique floral photographs

There were two effects that the magazine talked about:

The Zoom Burst Effect

A Beginner's Guide to Special Effects : Learn how to use your DSLR to capture unique floral photographs

 The Rotation Effect

A Beginner's Guide to Special Effects : Learn how to use your DSLR to capture unique floral photographs

The techniques used to take these photos are actually really simple!  I’m pretty excited to learn how to do this.  Am I the only one who thinks of a million ways to use a new camera technique after I learn it?  I kind of can’t wait to go to Disney now….

Enough of the teaser, I know you’re probably wondering how I did it.  So, here we go!

The great thing about these techniques are that the camera settings for both pictures are exactly the same.  I used the settings suggestion from the magazine in order to get the pictures.

Camera Settings:

  • Turn mode dial to Shutter Priority
  • Set shutter speed to 1/10 seconds
  • Set ISO to 100
  • Change white balance to auto
  • Set metering mode to Matrix
  • Autofocus on subject

Try the zoom burst effect
A Beginner's Guide to Special Effects : Learn how to use your DSLR to capture unique floral photographs

What you need:
-Zoom Lens
-Neutral Density filter (optional)

To apply the effect you need to zoom into your subject as much as possible so that the subject fills the viewfinder.  Half press the shutter release down so the camera can focus on the subject.  Then begin to quickly zoom out and press the shutter release while doing so.

Try the rotation effect
A Beginner's Guide to Special Effects : Learn how to use your DSLR to capture unique floral photographs

What you need:
-you can use any type of lens for this type of photo (I used my Kit lens)
-Neutral Density filter

To apply the effect you have to rotate the entire camera to achieve the twisted motion effect.  The best way to do this is to hold the camera level to your chest and press the shutter release button while rotating the camera to take the picture.

Getting the timing right always takes a few tries for both techniques, so do not get discouraged if you don’t get it right the first few times.  Just keep trying, but have fun with it! Once you get it right you’ll end up with a few fun photos!

What do you think?

Have you ever tried the creative blur techniques?  Do you have any tips to make these types of photos easier?

8 Comments

    1. You’re welcome! πŸ˜‰ These photos are so much fun! haha I keep thinking the zoom burst effect would look pretty cool with an engagement ring. haha

    1. It’s a great magazine! I have to go pick up this month’s edition so I can write about the next lesson they have in there. The creative blur definitely takes a few tries to master but you can definitely do it!!!

    1. Hi Mariah! Thank you so much for stopping by from the SITS Girls! I hope you find a lot of useful information for your Disney trip in December! Have an awesome time!

  1. Wow- Just thinking about camera purchase. I love the iphone as it is always with me but can’t do everything. Interested to see more of your work! The whirl of colors is really eye catching.

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