Carnations and a Kit Lens

I have actually played about in the past with taking motion-blur images of a spinning carousel to great effect, but currently there is nothing similar close enough to home for me to reproduce that little experiment for today’s Daily Prompt word of ‘Carousel‘. But still, it’s got me thinking… circular, spinning, motion blur… hmmm…

Another way of achieving motion blur in images is by moving the camera (or the lens) while shooting a static subject – in particular using a zoom burst technique, which can also be great fun to do as you never know what you’re going to end up with. And in the same way as the centrifugal force of the spinning carousel forces you outwards towards the edge, so the radiating focal lines of zoombursts (for me, anyway) replicate that wonderful giddy feeling of outward movement.

So welcome to the creative output of a standard bunch of carnations and a standard kit lens. I placed my vase of flowers on a small circular side table in the middle of my neutral kitchen floor, and played about with shooting relatively long exposures while actively zooming the lens during the shot. I experimented with the aperture fully closed at f22, and also at f8 with an ND8 filter to get the desired exposure time. To my surprise, in the end I preferred the slightly brighter f22 shots!

I took a couple of still shots to show either end of the range then tried zooming in from wide-angle and out from telephoto while the shutter was open, as smoothly as possible to try to catch the full range of one to the other, and here are some of my favourite results…

Looking straight down on the vase at wide-angle…


And again looking straight down at the telephoto end…


Zooming in from wide to tele with the shutter open…


And zooming out from tele to wide with the shutter open…



I absolutely love the totally abstract colours and designs of zooming out – and the faster you zoom, the more extreme the effect on the resulting image. Any slight camera shake or similar minimal movement doesn’t really matter as nothing needs to be recognisably in focus, and each image feels really dynamic and free… what fun! 🙂


11 thoughts on “Carnations and a Kit Lens

  1. Raj August 8, 2017 / 5:21 pm

    Wow great work! What about the focus? Set it on manual focus mode?


    • Ruth August 8, 2017 / 5:39 pm

      Nope, just used autofocus as usual… the results are actually quite spectacular considering the lack of technical ability required. The hardest bit is turning the zoom ring smoothly and steadily enough at just the right speed – if it jerks you get a staggered, superimposed look, if you’re too slow you don’t get full range, and if you’re too quick you just get streaks 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • Ruth August 8, 2017 / 5:40 pm

        Oh and of course holding the camera as steady as possible matters too 🙂


      • Raj August 8, 2017 / 5:59 pm

        Thanks Ruth fur the valuable info, what was the shutter speed used?


        • Ruth August 8, 2017 / 6:44 pm

          I’m not a very proficient photographer (extremely amateur) and had the camera set to aperture priority of f22 so just let it set the shutter speed and ISO to suit, but it was probably about a second or thereabouts – and the ISO was limited at 1600 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

          • Raj August 9, 2017 / 4:26 am

            But the results are not amateurish for sure..!! 🙂 Well yes the shutter is is very important in this shot as shutter should be open till your zooming is over.. 🙂

            Liked by 1 person

          • Ruth August 9, 2017 / 8:58 am

            I guess I do it mainly by feel – and it takes me about a second to zoom fully between one end to the other, so I stopped down the aperture to give me about that time 🙂

            Liked by 1 person

  2. Rebel Girl August 8, 2017 / 6:37 pm

    I love that more advanced photographers share their knowledge with amateurs like me. Thank you for posting this. Lovely pictures!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ruth August 8, 2017 / 6:45 pm

      Thanks for the compliment, but honestly I’m as amateur as they come! I just like playing about with stuff, and sometimes you get lucky and it works out fine 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Sunny August 9, 2017 / 12:43 am

    Love the movement! It’s all beyond this iPhone photographer. So I greatly admire your technical bravery!

    Liked by 1 person

Let me know what you think...

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s