GETTING CREATIVE IN THE SMOKYS

 Horizontal camera swipe using a Nikon D4S with a 80-400 at 195. 1/1.7 @ f36, ISO 100.

Horizontal camera swipe using a Nikon D4S with a 80-400 at 195. 1/1.7 @ f36, ISO 100.

I recently attended the Great Smoky Mountains Photography Summit in Townsend, Tennessee, and came away inspired to make better landscape photographs. 

I also came away with a new in-camera technique courtesy of Tony Sweet who during a group presentation titled "In-Camera Creative Techniques," talked about what he called a camera swipe.

 Vertical camera swipe using a Nikon D4S with a 80-400 at 330. 1/1.7 @ f36, ISO 100.

Vertical camera swipe using a Nikon D4S with a 80-400 at 330. 1/1.7 @ f36, ISO 100.

To achieve this effect, set your shutter speed from one to two seconds, then move the camera either vertically or horizontally while the shutter is open. This gives you a very abstract or painterly effect.

For the examples seen in this post, I hand-held the camera and started the movement before I released the shutter and then continued on with the movement after the shutter had closed. I believe using this technique gave me a smoother look. I also tried to keep the camera moving in straight lines, but, of course, there is no reason why you couldn't try all kinds of movement, including a zig-zag pattern.

 Vertical camera swipe using a Nikon D4S with a 80-400 at 195. 1/1.7 @ f36, ISO 100.

Vertical camera swipe using a Nikon D4S with a 80-400 at 195. 1/1.7 @ f36, ISO 100.

When planning to do the camera swipe technique I looked for straight lines, such as the trees, or bold colors of the leaves, both of which were in abundance in the Smoky Mountains. 

I also found out while scanning the landscape for the best scene in order to try out this effect, it made me concentrate on color and lines in a different way. That begins to translate well beyond a simple camera technique and can help all your photography.

Give it a try and if you like the results, don't thank me, thank Tony. Or better yet, sign up for one of his seminars or workshops and learn from the man himself.