Radial Blur

Introduction: Radial Blur

A radial burst shot looks cool. If you want to know how to take one, here are the required tools you'll need.

  • A manual camera
  • A tripod with a horizontal rotating axis
  • A good location

The reason you'll need a manual camera and not a regular point-and-shoot is because you'll need to be able to change the exposure, F-stop and ISO settings in order to get the shot you desire.

The reason you will need a tripod with a horizontal rotating axis is so that the photograph stays clean and cut, without a tripod you'll end up with wonky shots that won't resemble a radial pattern at all. As for the horizontal rotating axis, it will be what will be moving the camera as the shot is taken to allow a very precise and measured pattern to reflect in the photograph.

The location you choose will heavily affect the outcome of the photograph. It's good to note the colours, light sources and shadows in the area as well as any possible focus points that they all surround.

Step 1: Preparing the Shot

Before taking any photographs, it's important to understand what settings you should be aiming for with your camera. The shot will require a medium-slow shutter speed, meaning having a low depth of field and high ISO are needed.

Be sure to check the exposure balance in the shot before you take the photograph.

It's also important to note the focus. Since this will be an abstract shot, you are free to play around with the focus however you like.

Step 2: Taking the Shot!

Once you have the long exposure setting down, start practicing taking shots. You'll want to move the camera all the way along the horizontal rotating axis between the times the shutter opens and closes. Having a long exposure will allow you to move the camera slowly and smoothly.

One problem I had noticed while taking my shots was that a ghost image of the scene was being created along with the radial effect. I realized that this was happening because the camera was stopped either right as the shutter opens, or just before the shutter closes. The way I solved this was to move the camera before taking the shot and making sure it stays moving till the shutter closes. If you don't like ghosts in your photograph, try pushing the capture button down as you rotate the camera.

Step 3: Results

It will take a lot tries before you get a good photograph if this is your first time attempting this style of photography.

It's also good to play around with the camera zoom as you take the shot for a nice spiral effect.

That's all, Goodluck. Shears!

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    2 Discussions


    5 years ago

    similar effects can be done by purposely putting the object out of focus... the teary eyed lights look