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14 August 2013

Creating beautiful 'zoom burst' images

flower burst
Photo: Pinoyborian's Flickr

Making creative images with my digital camera is one of my goals. However, as a beginner photographer I have many limitations. So, I buy copies of the magazine Photography for beginners to help me with my learning. In one of the magazine issues I came across the zoom burst technique.

The zoom burst technique is quite simple to do and quick to create. Images from this technique implies motion, with a centre subject that is sharp and the surrounding elements giving a directional blur. A camera with zoom lens is ideal for this technique although moving your body to zoom will also do.

Based on the magazine tutorial I read, I adapted the following steps to come up with a creative zoom burst image:

  1. Set up subject (for example, bunch of flowers)
  2. Choose a tripod or handholding when shooting
  3. Change to Shutter Priority
  4. Set the shutter speed (you need to experiment here)
  5. Pick the focus point (centre of frame)!
  6. Zoom while shooting
  7. Edit your photo for fine tuning ( I use GIMP) - sharpen, adjust colours (saturation), image cropping and more

The picture at the beginning of this post was my first decent creative zoom burst image. Of course, I have had several failure and less creative shots before it.

Here are a couple more zoom burst images I have taken. In all photos I used the Olympus Pen E-PL1 and the 14-42mm f3.5-5.6 kit lens.

golden leaf
Photo: Pinoyborian's Flickr

blue shades
Photo: Pinoyborian's Flickr

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