This and That

Random bits of my life

Focus Blur Technique

Posted by Avital Pinnick on July 5, 2009

The 4th of July has come and gone, along with a flood of cook-out recipes and photos of fireworks on the Web. In Israel, our independence day was months ago, so I have no fireworks photos to show. I’ve done some reasonably competent shots in the past, but they’re not much different from anyone else’s. Use a tripod, manual settings, long exposure, etc.

This year I saw something different, which I want to try next year — Focus Blur. In a nutshell, you give the lens focus ring a twist during the long exposure, which causes a blossoming effect (sorry, my point-and-shoot friends). The first one that caught my eye was taken by Andrew Curtis:

Aliyeska took this wonderful shot below — no photoshopping!

Aliyeska has written a brief tutorial about the technique. It sounds simple in principle. Pity that one has so few opportunities to practise a new fireworks photography technique. On the other hand, it might be interesting to try this with light trails at night, or other scenarios that allow a long exposure of moving objects.

Uploaded by takenzen.

For more examples of this technique, have a look at the Flickr Focus Blur pool.

One Response to “Focus Blur Technique”

  1. Waaaay cool!! Any one of those would make a very nice greeting card or ?? I remember way back when during my film days that I would shoot a wedding and spin the zoom ring to get a similar effect. I have to try this new process.
    Thanks for the post.

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