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

    • 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 🙂

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