A closer look at ICM.
Well, for those who don’t know it’s a technique known as . ‘intentional camera movement’. Fairly self-explanatory although it doesn’t clarify that this movement happens during the exposure – which is usually the last thing you would want to happen. There’s nothing new about the idea of slowing the shutter to allow some blur if the subject is a fast moving car, or perhaps a flamenco dancer with a swirling dress as she turns. Using this technique captures the feeling of motion that the photographer sees in front of them. The ICM technique turns this around so that rather than a stationary camera capturing a moving subject, a moving camera is capturing a stationary subject. The result is sometimes a wonderful, impressionistic scene: it is also sometimes a real mess because you didn’t quite get it right. It takes some practise and patience to find answers to questions like, ‘how fast do I move the camera?; which direction do I move the camera in?; how slow does my shutter need to be?’. The answers to the above are – not too fast and not too slow, whichever direction works best, and whatever speed works best. Not very helpful, I know – but that’s the fun of this technique. It’s all about creativity rather than straight documentary.
The possibilities are endless – grab a camera and have some fun!
I’d encourage you to try it out. I’ve seen some fabulous examples on the net and you can photograph what the heck you like, with whatever shutter speed you fancy and whatever direction of movement you fancy. I find that about 1/8 – 1/15 of a second shutter speed is nice for me to work with. I moved from bottom right to top left and I usually start moving before I press the shutter so that the movement is smooth while the shutter is open. It’s a very satisfying thing to try because the results are lovely when they work 🙂
Google around, try it out, see what you come up with. Try to look for something that has large swathes of colour or already has some sense of direction about it and snap away.
Until next time
Author – Sue Woollard – Capers with a Camera