5 June

‘E-motional’ Inspirations with Intentional Camera Movement from Michael Orton

Many of you know Michael Orton for the Orton Effect which he originated in the film days by sandwiching an overexposed sharp slide with an overexposed blurry slide of the same subject to create a painterly looking image. This can easily be replicated in digital during post-processing or by using the multiple exposure capabilities of many of the newer digital cameras. We use the Orton Effect regularly in many of our images (see recent example here) and we have instructions on how to do it in Photoshop here. Users of Photoshop Elements have the Orton Effect built right into the software!

But Michael has moved on from his popular effect and now is using Intentional Camera Movement (ICM) to create amazing ‘e-motional’ photographic art. Check out the article, images and videos below from Michael!

The Magic of Intentional Camera Movement  

Imagine yourself walking in the pre-dawn, up a winding trail to an elevated overlook. You weave your way through the forest, and as you near your destination, an ethereal glowing light begins to filter through the trees. Stepping into the clearing you witness one of the most incredible sunrise skies you have ever or may ever see again. Crimson, gold, magenta, orange, for as far as the eye can see, and for a moment you just stand, awestruck, speechless. These moments are what photography is about, but as we all know they don’t happen every day, that is until now. Working with ICM, this same sense of wonder is what I can experience nearly every time I step out with my camera. The difference is that instead of waiting and searching for these moments I can now create them. ICM photography is like a continuous voyage of discovery, that allows you to travel in one direction today, and then a completely different direction tomorrow.

©Michael Orton - Inspiration The ability to blend, mix, and combine the colours in somewhat humble subject matter with ICM, continues to amaze me.This is a bush with some fallen autumn leaves tangled in it's branches. Most photographers, myself at one time included, would have walked past this, thinking, "Too cluttered." Now these moments become my sunrises.  

©Michael Orton – Inspiration
The ability to blend, mix, and combine the colours in somewhat humble subject matter with ICM, continues to amaze me.This is a bush with some fallen autumn leaves tangled in it’s branches. Most photographers, myself at one time included, would have walked past this, thinking, “Too cluttered.” Now these moments become my sunrises.

If you sense that your photo life could use some element of creative discovery, and you are open to wherever this might take you, here are some beginning pointers to get started. While the actual process is moving the camera, “seeing” like all photography is really the key. ICM is only as successful as the photographers ability to recognize lines, forms, and tonal differences within the subject. Some situations , like a stand of parallel trees, are easy to attach a compatible camera movement to. Start with these obvious subjects to begin with and mimic the apparent line with a movement. I shoot at my lowest ISO setting with a polarizer and 2 stop ND filter on my 18-70  99% of the time. I use handheld only because I move the camera as if it where a movie camera on a track and not pivoting from a fixed point. Use manual focus to prevent the camera from focus searching during the exposures. Cradle the camera with one hand with your arm into your chest as support for smooth long lines. I use shutter speeds of 1/60 to 4 seconds and numerous actual camera movement speeds for example, slow, medium or fast. Rehearse your chosen action or movement while looking through the viewfinder, then begin making exposures while the camera is moving and continue moving after the exposure is complete.You can move your camera any way you wish. Lines, arcs, circles, ovals, the decision is yours based on what you choose as subject matter. In the past years I have developed what I describe as compound movements which are two combined and then to add a twist I will alter focal length (zoom) or change focus during the exposure. These take practice, but yield diverging lines when the subject matter is appropriate.  ICM is not unlike solving a puzzle that when you do, you have an “Aha” moment, followed by “So that is how it works.”

©Michael Orton - Westwood Trail. This popular trail in Nanaimo is a relatively easy situation to use ICM in. Strong vertical lines were accentuated with a simple vertical, slightly modulating, camera movement. The blue you see is in fact the reflection of the sky on the slightly wet tree trunks. This is a well used trail so I didn't have to wait long for two hikers to appear and give this forest  a sense of scale.

©Michael Orton – Westwood Trail.
This popular trail in Nanaimo is a relatively easy situation to use ICM in. Strong vertical lines were accentuated with a simple vertical, slightly modulating, camera movement. The blue you see is in fact the reflection of the sky on the slightly wet tree trunks. This is a well used trail so I didn’t have to wait long for two hikers to appear and give this forest a sense of scale.

 Give yourself enough time to honestly get some results, not just one outing, take a few weeks. It takes patience, this isn’t another “App”. Stay with it and you will know what I am talking about. Marko Kulik has experienced this and now has a wonderful gallery of Montreal streets at night. I use landscape, but any source of lines, form, colour and light can be a starting point. When you have had some successful results you will begin to realize how many combinations of choices of movements and camera speeds there are. Add to this the ability to actually blend and mix colours at the same time, and ICM becomes a process where the given subject matter and your response to it are constantly changing. Unlike going to a favorite landscape I have no preconceptions as to what the outcome will be when I walk into the world armed with ICM. It almost feels like my  first few years when everything surprised and excited me, which after 35 years of carrying a camera , is exactly what I needed at this time.

©Michael Orton - Melting Mist I have always loved working in fog or misty conditions, when the landscape becomes transformed. These are some large leafed Maples in late autumn, with only a few leaves left , which I simplified with a camera motion that  you can see in the image.There are so many motions and combinations that I often think of some I could have used after a shoot. It is these possibilities that keep me looking.

©Michael Orton – Melting Mist
I have always loved working in fog or misty conditions, when the landscape becomes transformed. These are some large leafed Maples in late autumn, with only a few leaves left , which I simplified with a camera motion that you can see in the image.There are so many motions and combinations that I often think of some I could have used after a shoot. It is these possibilities that keep me looking.

If you are travelling or photographing on Vancouver Island, contact us to view our prints.These new images make impressive prints, especially in larger sizes and are available in very limited edition (10) prints, on canvas or watercolour paper.  The video ” The Liquid Landscape ” features some recent work, while the video “A Walk in the Palm Grove”  demonstrates the use of ICM in just one location.

©Michael Orton - Oasis This photograph is one of dozens made in two visits to a small palm grove in Southern California. As I walked through the palms image after image became appararent in continuous succession. I have been fortunate to have many of these days in the last couple of years, thanks to seeing with an understanding of camera movement.

©Michael Orton – Oasis
This photograph is one of dozens made in two visits to a small palm grove in Southern California. As I walked through the palms image after image became appararent in continuous succession. I have been fortunate to have many of these days in the last couple of years, thanks to seeing with an understanding of camera movement.

24 April

Something from Nothing – Allison George photographs the neighbourhood houses

For Allison George, a walk through her neighborhood yielded a harvest of intimate details of the neighborhood houses. Lovely work, Allison!

©Allison George

©Allison George

©Allison George

©Allison George

©Allison George

©Allison George

©Allison George

©Allison George

©Allison George

©Allison George

©Allison George

©Allison George

17 April

Something from Nothing – Mike Dickie braves his soul showing us images for the first time!

Mike Dickie tells us that this post on oopoomoo is the first place he has ever displayed a photo on the internet! He is an internet virgin(!)… but we are happy he took the courage to do a Something from Nothing assignment and give it to us to publicly display. Welcome to the big world of sharing on the web Mike!

©Mike Dickie

©Mike Dickie

©Mike Dickie

©Mike Dickie

©Mike Dickie

©Mike Dickie

©Mike Dickie

©Mike Dickie

©Mike Dickie

©Mike Dickie

©Mike Dickie

©Mike Dickie 

12 April

Something from Nothing – Lisa Couldwell photographs dead things!

The weather has been very un-spring like around here lately but Lisa Couldwell has made the best of the grey days with her Something from Nothing submission. Here is what she says:

When it’s a completely lousy day – like today — foggy, grey, cold, icy… I find it a great day to go out for a walk in the ‘hood’ and try “seeing” the beauty of last year’s flowers.  Today was one of those days. I find the light is terrific for this type of photography.  There is still beauty in the remnants of last year’s growth and the warm earth tones just so work for me. Taking pictures of summer colour is great but seeing the true detail, beauty, and life the winter garden still has to offer is one of my favourite things to do this time of year.
©Lisa Couldwell

©Lisa Couldwell

©Lisa Couldwell

©Lisa Couldwell

©Lisa Couldwell

©Lisa Couldwell

wolf willowr sfn (1 of 1)

©Lisa Couldwell

©Lisa Couldwell

©Lisa Couldwell

 

 

31 March

Something from Nothing – Marion Faria turns her barn into art!

Our latest submission for Something from Nothing comes from Marion Faria who tells us:

I have been reading and following oopoomoo and enjoying the “something from nothing” project. It inspired me to take images the other day in my barn when I was out working on the stalls. I found myself thinking about finding subjects to photograph in my vicinity.  I started looking at brooms, shovels, rakes, buckets and then started to see things…attached are a few images inspired by the something for nothing project.

 

©Marion Faria

©Marion Faria – Bucket Bokeh

©Marion Faria

©Marion Faria – Coffee cup Abstract

©Marion Faria - Rake and Broom Abstract

©Marion Faria – Rake and Broom Abstract

©Marion Faria - Shavings Bag Abstract

©Marion Faria – Shavings Bag Abstract

 

 

24 March

Something from Nothing – Enivea Harvests a Wheelbarrow Full of Photos

Enivea sent in this Something from Nothing submission from Australia. We open with an overall shot and then proceed with closer seeing!

©Enivea

©Enivea

©Enivea

©Enivea

five

©Enivea

four

©Enivea

nine

©Enivea

one

©Enivea

seven

©Enivea

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©Enivea

three

©Enivea

two

©Enivea

21 March

Something from Nothing – Peter Carroll makes photos from 10 paces!

Peter Carroll send in this submission for Something from Nothing

Photography challenges are a great way to get the ol’ creativity gears working and a great reminder for me that there are photographs to be made everywhere at every time if we let observation and creativity hang out together for a while. When I read about the oopoomoo Something From Nothing challenge I jumped at the opportunity. I didn’t just want to participate. I needed to participate. I challenged myself to create images within 10 paces of my computer and devote one hour to the process.  This would be good for me. It would be different. It would take me outside my comfort zone which is a good thing for an artist. See I love traveling, be it around the beautiful Province of Alberta or half way around the world, and creating photographs of the people and places I see. Traveling is fun because the experiences are fresh and what I see is new to my eyes. What kind of images, though, could I create with the stuff I live with everyday? Here are the results…

©Peter Carroll

©Peter Carroll

DSC9813b

©Peter Carroll

DSC9834b

©Peter Carroll

DSC9843b

©Peter Carroll

DSC9866b

©Peter Carroll

 

20 March

Something from Nothing – Dan Wheeler at Work

Dan Wheeler sends in his Something from Nothing submission:

Working in an industrial setting can be, well quite a stark environment. Industrial lighting, noise, vibrations and on a bad day things get ‘odorous’. For many workers this is not a place of pretty curves or graphically appealing images, it is a place of employment where vision is replaced with production. Harsh lines, the constant squares and the ever present triangle of structure are all the common forms that make up a workspace. Functional, supportive, stable. A true slice of efficient construction.

Digging deeper though and looking at the forms within the forms the workplace opens up as the building takes on a life that to the worker becomes something to be admired. For me I am grateful that I can enjoy the outdoors which is where I do most of my camera work but unfortunately as most know we have to somehow make a living to be able to travel or afford the luxury of the outdoors. Over the past couple of years I have been adding the human element into what I photograph. Do I enjoy it? It is a challenge, but has helped in finding what I really like? For me yes it has.

What I have found is that the blending of light, steel and product has become a portrait that is usually left only for those that have the artist eye or desire to see into a place.

So look around where you work and put aside the daily walk downs or blank stares at the desk top and see what is present. A whole new world can open up and add to your version of the cubicle.

©Dan Wheeler

©Dan Wheeler

Curves 02

©Dan Wheeler

Drip01

©Dan Wheeler

Flow 01

©Dan Wheeler

Heat 01

©Dan Wheeler

Motion 01

©Dan Wheeler

Support 01

©Dan Wheeler

13 March

Something from Nothing – A Hotel Room by Judy Windsor

Judy Windsor sent in this Something from Nothing submission:

My husband and  I were on a quick turn around trip with a one night stay in a hotel. When we arrived at the hotel, my husband set off to do some errands. I figured this would be the only quiet shooting time I would get on the entire weekend (and I was right) so out came my camera. These are a few of the shots that I came up with.

_MG_9500 Hotel 3

©Judy Windsor

_MG_9504 Hotel 4

©Judy Windsor

_MG_9507 Hotel 5

©Judy Windsor

_MG_9509 Hotel 6

©Judy Windsor

_MG_9515 Hotel 7

©Judy Windsor

_MG_9516 Hotel 8

©Judy Windsor

_MG_9519 Hotel 9

©Judy Windsor

_MG_9496 Hotel 1

©Judy Windsor

_MG_9498 Hotel 2

©Judy Windsor

 

10 March

Something from Nothing – Jane Chesebrough visits the Bathroom with a Camera

Jane Chesebrough decided on her tiny bathroom to answer the Something from Nothing challenge. Here is what she said about the experience:

Well, I saw every spot there was to see in my bathroom but had to respond to the challenge of making something out of nothing. I can’t take a picture of the entire bathroom because it is too small but you can see much of it in the first shot. Then I explored different angles and close-ups and, despite having a small space, I found the objects or close-ups intriguing, especially with the light on them. And thanks to you, my bathroom is now the cleanest room in my home!

©Jane Chesebrough

©Jane Chesebrough

©Jane Chesebrough

©Jane Chesebrough

©Jane Chesebrough

©Jane Chesebrough

©Jane Chesebrough

©Jane Chesebrough

©Jane Chesebrough

©Jane Chesebrough

©Jane Chesebrough

©Jane Chesebrough

©Jane Chesebrough

©Jane Chesebrough

©Jane Chesebrough

©Jane Chesebrough

©Jane Chesebrough

©Jane Chesebrough 

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