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Weekly Photo Challenge: Blur (2)

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Our theme for the Weekly Photo Challenge this week is:  Blur.
Our instructions:  This week, we’re supposed to keep our cameras purposefully unfocused, and “find beauty in a blur.”

Wait.  I’m supposed to blur my photo . . . on purpose?  I’m twitching a little.  I’m the one who compulsively deletes photos that aren’t in focus.  This is going to be awkward for me.

For this challenge, I returned to a previous subject, my African violets.  I decided this was a good opportunity to practice a couple of photography techniques I have zippy experience with: panning and the zoom effect.

I posted my panning picture yesterday, and today, I’m posting my zoom effect picture.  (I think the Weekly Photo Challenge photos display better in the WordPress platform/feed if they are singular).

Sometimes called a zoom burst, a zoom effect adds the illusion of movement to a photo with a burst of lines from a center focal point.  To get this effect, you’re supposed to use a long(er) shutter exposure and, while zooming in or out, press the shutter.  Easy peasy, right?

Sort of.  This is definitely a technique that requires a lot of practice and trial and error.  My first attempts were without a tripod (because I was feeling lazy), and they turned out looking like a psychedelic dream sequence (my daughter said they looked like tie-dye shirts).  So, I set up my tripod to see if I could get some straight (or at least straighter) lines, and a better focal point.

Overall, I like this picture (I probably wouldn’t post it if I hated it).  I like that there’s a reasonably cohesive focal point, and that the lines are mostly straight.  The lines on the right side of the photo look like they’re leaping off of the violet in tubes, which is kind of cool.  I have no idea how I did that.  I’m a little overexposed, and I should have adjusted the shutter speed, but that’ll have to be a correction for another day.  As far as you know, I did that on purpose — it’s edgy and avant-garde. 😉


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