into the snow (ICM)

we finally got a bit of snow last weekend and while on a little stroll around the house I played around with some camera movements.

Type of Critique Requested

  • Aesthetic: Feedback on the overall visual appeal of the image, including its color, lighting, cropping, and composition.
  • Conceptual: Feedback on the message and story conveyed by the image.
  • Emotional: Feedback on the emotional impact and artistic value of the image.
  • Technical: Feedback on the technical aspects of the image, such as exposure, color, focus and reproduction of colors and details, post-processing, and print quality.

Specific Feedback and Self-Critique

I am fairly new to ICM photography and very much like exploring different movements and options. This corner of a corn field covered in snow caught my eye and I tried zooming out during the exposure. I quite like the effect and would be very grateful for some pointers on how to improve this technique.

Technical Details

Sony A7IV with Tamron 28-75mm at zooming out from 75-66mm, 1/20 sec at f 22, ISO 50, handheld

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I don’t know that any of this will make for better images, but a few ideas that should be fun to play with…

  • Given you shot this one at 1/20sec, try lengthening the shutter speed to allow you to zoom in (or out) much slower as well. Or you could zoom faster with a longer shutter speed and wind up zooming in/out in the same exposure. That could produce some very different results.
    * A note…as a VERY GENERAL rule of thumb…I’ve not often had much luck shooting faster than 1/20 for ICM. For me, that is generally as fast as I wish to go. ‘Your mileage may certainly vary.’

  • You could also try combining other movement types with the zoom out/in. E.g., move the camera back & forth, up & down, or twist as you’re doing the zoom. It can get tricky, but it’s all worth exploring.

  • The fun thing is there really is no limit to how the camera can be moved. As long as we utilize a shutter speed long enough to capture the movement, any kind of movement you can think of is
    worth a shot. I did a handful of sessions where I just hung the camera around my neck and fired the shutter with a remote whenever something visually interesting grabbed my attention.

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Thank you, RJ, for the tips and suggestions! I will for sure try these out! Unfortunately that day I didn’t bring my filters along, so that I was stuck with 1/20 sec at the longest. Next time I will put a ND filter on to experiment with longer exposures. Thank you so much for your recommendations regarding the movements! Can’t wait to try again!

Ronja,

Love the radial lines and the colors/contrast and processing are very striking. I particularly like the edges - did you vignette or process this to soften or fade around the edges? No matter, I like the effect and presentation.

I’ve always liked the zoom effect; can be quite dizzy’ing if you stare to long… right? :face_with_peeking_eye: :laughing:
I’ve played with this technique, oh well back in to my early 35mm days - a long time ago. Always fun and even used the technique in my November outing to Yosemite.

Here’s the catch for me. I can’t speak for everyone, but it’s why these style ICM’s need something - and that something is a focal point. In other words, the zoom, the radial lines direct the eye to the center of the image. What’s at the center of the image will determine whether or not the image has any staying power. Unfortunately here, there is nothing for the eye to get to, no focal point. It doesn’t make this bad or wrong, I’m still really enjoying everything else about this, but having something more tangible in the center - well, btw, that’s the tough part because you have to be thinking about that in advance. I have a couple examples if you want.

But as I mention, I’m still really enjoying the lines, colors and motion. The whites of the snow are clean and presented perfectly.

Hope this helps,

Lon

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Hi Ronja, the zoom effect created by the ICM definitely draws the eye in. I would have thought this was a snow covered rock wall perhaps from Bryce Canyon, not a corn field. The exposure looks great.

I agree with Lon on having an area of interest for the eyes to land on. That’s not always easy to accomplish but I think it’s missing from the image. I also think the zoom effect is incongruent with the subject matter. For example, I could see this being applied to a road lined with trees.

I’d like to encourage you to keep experimenting! That is what makes ICM so much fun.

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Hi Lon,
Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts with me. I really appreciate your feedback. The effect you mentioned regarding the edges of the frame is due to the shape of that corn field. I was standing at the very corner with both sides of the field leading away from me.
You are absolutely right about a missing subject in the center. this was something I was struggling the most with while experimenting with this technique. I also took some pictures in this style with a person walking down a trail, which maybe underline the zooming in effect a bit better. I will keep trying and experimenting with this technique. I absolutely love your “blizzard of 22” picture and I very much want to try this technique of combining camera movements as soon as possible.
Thank you again for your kind comment, it helps a lot!

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Hi Alfredo,
Thank you so much for your kind words and suggestions. I really appreciate your feedback. I only have been to Bryce Canyon once and I absolutely love that place. I really hope to have the chance to visit again one day! This time with a proper camera :wink:
Thank you for your kind feedback on a clearer subject and also regarding the subject matter. I completely agree. I also tried the same effect on some people walking down a trail lined with trees. Due to the movement I didn’t manage to get the people completely sharp, but I will keep on experimenting with this. It is a lot of fun! And seeing these amazing pictures here is definitely a great motivator!

Thank you again for sharing your thoughts with me!