TIP 4: CREATIVE BLUR... / by Akhil Menon

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Are you trying to create some pictures with a difference? or perhaps in your early days without knowing camera settings properly, did you create some artistic blur shots accidentally? Well, let's put some method into this madness. In this photo tip, I will briefly discuss some techniques into achieving creative blur that can leave your images aesthetically impressive and appealing. 

There are mainly two types of blur effects that can be created optically using a camera and a tripod/beanbag/support is a must to avoid unexpected or unpleasing results. If you are shooting in broad daylight, you may need an ND filter or polarizer to attain slow shutter speeds at wide open apertures which are vital to such effects. Shooting during early mornings or late evenings with less light can be beneficial to this technique and help avoid use of filters.

1. PAN Blurs:
This is achieved by combining a slow shutter speed with camera motion to create a sense of speed around a moving object. It is a way to keep your subject in focus while blurring your background. Panning is usually done on a subject moving horizontally, such as the flamingo in the picture. It takes practice to achieve the effect but the first step is to keep a shutter speed between 1/20th to 1/100th of a second. Keep camera on tripod and follow the subject slowly as if you are tracking them, in the direction of their movement while clicking your frame. It can easily take a lot of frames and adjustments with the shutter speed before you get the desired effect.

2. Zoom Blurs:
This is performed by zooming into your subject during a long exposure. Shutter speed can vary from a second up-to 1/20th of a second. It is recommended to keep the subject and focus point in the center of the frame to create the blur streaks leading to the subject. A stationary subject like a grazing zebra or even your pet cat/dog is ideal for trying this type of shot.

I have had great fun trying such shots and received really great feedback on them. I hope this tip is helpful for you to go ahead and try similar shots. Would love to see some results you achieve, feel free to comment or message me with your results. Happy Clicking!