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In the woods

By DRicherby
It's been a while since I posted anything here. I spent much of the summer in the USA and, since I got back, most of my ePhotozine time has been spent in the critique gallery. Time to get posting again!

I've been spending quite a lot of time in the woods, recently, tramping around and trying to find interesting photographs. This one was inspired by a photo by Ste_Bo that I saw in the critique gallery and an article by Don Smith that I had, coincidentally, read at around the same time.

There's no digital manipulation here, beyond the usual tweaking of levels, curves and saturation. The blur is achieved entirely by moving the camera through the slow-ish exposure. If you want to try this yourself, shutter speeds of between about 1/20s and 1/10s seem to work best. Smoothly raise the camera and press the shutter release as it's moving. Take lots of shots, in different places. You'll probably find that they mostly look the same and, if none stand out, bin the lot! I took about forty shots to get this one and the selection instantly boiled down to either this shot or another very similar one that I took a few moments earlier.

All comments and criticism welcome.


Thursday, 16th September, 2010.
50mm, f/2.8, 1/20s, ISO-100.

Tags: Blur West yorkshire Trees Forests Specialist and abstract Flowers and plants Motion blur Jerrison wood Esholt

Voters: lesliea, User_Removed, jimmypaton and 44 more

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User_Removed 11 1 8 United Kingdom
7 Oct 2010 12:49PM
mesmerising work... I think I'd like to have a shot at this myself... nice to see you posting again too.


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jimmypaton 11 19 Scotland
7 Oct 2010 12:50PM
very good indeed
gingerdelight 13 298 11 United Kingdom
7 Oct 2010 1:03PM
A lovely fluid image, Dave; I like this a lot!

PS: I see that you were a "lucky" winner of the "pigeon poo" camera too!!! Have you used it yet? I haven't as I need to buy some film!!
Richsr 13 91 223 England
7 Oct 2010 1:34PM
Like your treatment of this, Dave.
Regards Richard
Daisymaye 11 23 16 Canada
7 Oct 2010 2:45PM
Sounds a fun thing to try. I like this so just may............Sandy
Philo 9 99 83 England
7 Oct 2010 4:09PM
I do like this Richard, it makes for a fine abstract. As a bit of a novice it is reassuring to hear that it took 40 attempts to get this.
The histogram is heavily bunched to the left and I wondered if this was done deliberately to achieve your desired look?
Anyway, I thought I would try a mod and see what happens. All I have done is a simple level and curves adjustment to increase contrast which I think brings out the texture more. The increased contrast pushed the colours a bit much so I desaturated.
Your feedback would be appreciated.
DRicherby 11 269 726 United Kingdom
7 Oct 2010 4:28PM
Thanks for the mod, Phil!

The original is quite dark and, at the moment, I'm using a laptop that seems to have a rather bright screen so it may be that I misjudged the levels. The darkness was deliberate and, on my screen, I prefer the richness of my version, though I had considered lightening it to give something more like your mod. When I get my usual laptop back, it may well be that I find that my version is too dark, in which case a re-processing will be in order and I imagine I'll end up close to your version. Smile

One minor thing about your mod is that I find the bright streaks about half-way up the left-hand side to be a bit distracting, now. But it should be fairly straightforward to tweak the curve to stop that happening.
Philo 9 99 83 England
7 Oct 2010 5:30PM
It will be interesting to see what you think on your regular laptop but I still think you will find my version too bright. You are right about those streaks, they do need toning down.
Now you need to get back to the critique gallery and comment on my upload!!
DRicherby 11 269 726 United Kingdom
7 Oct 2010 5:38PM
No, Phil — now, I need to get out in the lovely evening light and see if I can get some interesting autumn shots! Grin I shall meet you in the CG after dark. Wink
teocali Plus
12 442 18 England
7 Oct 2010 6:30PM
Brilliant effects Dave - love the interesting variations of colours and textures you have achieved. Thanks for posting the method - will have to try this one out!
Great to see you back again Smile
taggart Plus
15 47 14 United States
7 Oct 2010 8:36PM
Something I am looking forward to trying---I read about this in Tony Sweets book FINE ART DIGITAL NATURE PHOTOGRAPHY--- have been waiting for the trees to become more naked-- or rather the brush in front of them to be mowed down---

this is a good reminder for me!
banehawi Plus
15 2.2k 4095 Canada
7 Oct 2010 9:29PM
I always like this type of image, though Ive done them digitally. This works well.

A fun mod is to change the image size vertically only by unclicking constrain properties as in the mod.

7 Oct 2010 10:55PM
kritiiki wanted,team-man....
8 Oct 2010 12:59AM
Interesting colours here make this a pleasing image to look at - Chris
NobbytheNobster 10 33 5 England
8 Oct 2010 12:43PM
Nice creative image, i like it Smile
Good to see you back on here.
Ray42 12 3 England
12 Oct 2010 8:37AM
Interesting effect
davey_griffo 11 213 165 England
12 Oct 2010 12:30PM
There was also an article in last month's Practical Photography (I think, or possibly Digital Photo) on doing this. All of their examples seemed to be in portrait format. Possibly they think it looks better having the motion in the direction of the longest edge of the photo. Gives it some room. Just my guess, as they didn't mention a preference.

Funny, they didn't mention the failure rate though. Smile

Not really my thing, so you won't have any competition from me (as if!!), but I do like your more muted shot. The PP ones were all taken in bright sunlight.
DRicherby 11 269 726 United Kingdom
12 Oct 2010 12:42PM
Hehe. So I'm even less original than I thought preceded by a photo here, an article I saw and an article and a book I didn't see! Grin

Portrait is a possibility and works well, as Willie's mod shows as you say, there's more room for the blur. The main reason I avoided it in this case was that the woods were quite dark and panning any higher than this brought in lots of overpoweringly bright streaks of sky at the top of the frame.

I've not managed to get any good autumnal versions of this shot. The wood I was in is mainly conifers but there's a mostly deciduous wood about half an hour's walk from home that I intend visiting again this week. I'll also be going back in the spring when the woods are carpeted with bluebells.
davey_griffo 11 213 165 England
12 Oct 2010 5:06PM
A CC point from the great Dave Richerby, an honour indeed!! Cheers matey.

I wouldn't worry too much about originality. Let's face it. Photography's been going for well over 100 years, so anything you can think of has probably been done before.

It's how you shoot it that matters. Just because an idea's not original, doesn't mean it can't be an improvement. As I said, your's differ from the usual (as far as I've seen) in being muted rather than strong colours & bright lights. So you did bring something different to the party. Wink
metro074 10 8 Australia
12 Oct 2010 11:15PM
A lovely abstract image Dave. I love the flowing tones throughout you have managed to acheive. Thank you so much for your helpful advise on my Kookaburra Smile
Mynett 11 142 6 United Kingdom
13 Oct 2010 3:16PM
thanks for the 'how to do' tip with this one - I like the effect and even better without the need to ps it, must have a go.....

nice tones and I like the mods to.
RTDS 11 Cyprus
13 Oct 2010 5:15PM
Awsome abstract image.
Great work.
twelvemegs 10 6 United Kingdom
13 Oct 2010 9:01PM
Wonderful effect.

imagio 13 12 1 England
13 Oct 2010 11:14PM

EAS 11 1 13 Scotland
14 Oct 2010 3:19AM
Like the effect. Quite "painterly", if there's such a word!

Adderwatcher 10 60 19 United Kingdom
14 Oct 2010 7:44AM
Tried this myself last weekend, failed miserbly! Excellent work wonder what it would look like with a faint glow?
PaulLiley 10 2 13 United Kingdom
14 Oct 2010 10:31AM
Innovative abstract. Like things that are different. Paul
Thushari 10 1 Sri Lanka
15 Oct 2010 3:37AM
Great abstract image, nice work.
15 Oct 2010 7:01AM
very interesting image (thank you for help with my upload)
Suehh 13 39 6 England
22 Oct 2010 5:24PM
This works very well and you achieved a much better job than I did when I tried - I had a mess! This is great! I must give it a go again - thanks very much for the info.

Rende 13 38 4 Netherlands
24 Oct 2010 10:39AM
Beautiful effect with wonderful colours; looks like a coloured pencil drawing.
jonrayner 12 8 2 United Kingdom
30 Oct 2010 11:17AM
Nice shot - looks as if it has been painted.
SHoldenPhotos 10 3 3 England
26 Nov 2010 8:54AM
Great shot, works so well. Think I read an article on this in PP recently too.

Thanks for the comments on my images too, very helpful.

AnneWorner 12 620 43 United States
30 Nov 2010 11:14PM
I remember Ste_Bo's image in the Critique gallery. I very much like the abstract feel of this one. Would have liked to have a bit more light on it, but other than that, my kinda image. (Philo's mod ups the levels a tad and this helps imo).
Reminds a lot of the effect I get when I do vertical pans with my Lensbaby at a good bend. That also ends up looking very abstract in nature.
ianrobinson 10 1.2k 8 United Kingdom
3 May 2012 8:59PM
Avery interesting piece and i like it.


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