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Archive for October 15th, 2011

Michael Orton and Creative Camera Movement

Posted by Avital Pinnick on October 15, 2011

This evening I was listening to Marko Kulik’s (photography.ca) interview with Michael Orton. Two years ago I blogged about Michael Orton and the Orton effect, a technique that he invented. The Orton effect is created by sandwiching under- and over-exposed negatives to create a shadowy, saturated, and intense image. Now Michael Orton is exploring creative camera movement to create abstract, colourful images.

I had hoped that Marko’s interview would elicit some advice on how Orton moves his camera, how long his exposures are, or what kinds of subjects lend themselves to this approach, but maybe it’s something that has to be explored by the individual. Strike that last comment — I just realised that I hadn’t downloaded the entire podcast! The interview does cover exposures and movement, so if your interest is piqued by Michael’s images, you should definitely download this podcast.

Michael Orton’s website has some beautiful images, which I find very inspiring. (Maybe it helps to live in a beautiful area like Nanaimo!) Orton has written a book about his techniques: Photographing Creative Landscapes: Simple Tools for Artistic Images and Enhanced Creativity.It’s an older book (not many of us work in darkrooms or with film negatives these days) and doesn’t seem to have been updated for digital photography, but you might find it interesting.

Years ago, when I first got a DSLR, I took a course with Shai Ginott, who does similar work. Unfortunately, she wouldn’t tell us how she did it. On the last day of the course we met at her home. On one of the walls was a huge, jaw-dropping print of a forest that looked like it had been painted. When we asked her how she did it, she would only say, “I moved the camera.” So I guess it’s something I’ll have to try myself! I’ve been falling behind in my Project 365 and have missed about five days this year because of Jewish holidays and because I’m a bit burned out with photography and feeling uninspired these days.

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