Zoom

Zooming while making an exposure became popular in the 1960s as a way of adding movement to an otherwise static image. The technique is fairly easy to achieve with a conventional camera, especially one with manual controls: Simply take a picture using a shutter speed that is slow enough to let you zoom your lens during the exposure. Depending on how quickly you can zoom with your left hand on the lens barrel after you've pressed the shutter release with your right hand, a motion zoom of this type can be made successfully at speeds from 1/30th second or slower.

Zoom in or out as you prefer, and use a tripod with longer exposures if you want the smoothest effect. While the image will be blurred as it changes in size from the minimum/maximum zoom settings, there can be a relatively sharp image at some point in the zoom (usually the beginning or end) if you pause during the zooming. An electronic flash exposure, most easily made (automatically) at the beginning of the exposure, can also provide a sharp image to blend with your zoom blurs.

Figure 2.14 shows a zoom-during-exposure effect I created in-camera using a 4:1 zoom lens on a digital SLR camera that was mounted on a tripod. It's an interesting abstract picture, but I didn't have much control over the effect. I had to experiment, and then take what I got. Owners of digital point-and-shoot cameras would be left out in the cold most of the time when trying to get a picture like this because their motorized zooms aren't fast enough to produce a blur effect except for very long exposures.

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