The White Forest

Bridger-Teton National Forest, Wyoming 
June 14, 2008 

I’ve had a few inquiries this week about how this photo was created. Although it looks like it might have been manipulated with software, the effect was created entirely at the moment of exposure – within the camera. Using a 100-400mm zoom lens (set at 264mm) I exposed the aspen forest scene for 2 seconds at f/40. During that two seconds, I held the camera still for a fraction of a second … and then quickly moved the camera up and down for the rest of the exposure.  Holding the camera still for just a brief moment adds just enough detail to make the scene recognizable. The end result is a somewhat abstracted and “dreamy” effect that leaves plenty of room for imagination.  

This type of creative expression can infuse some unexpected fun into the typical habits and image portfolios of nature photographers. It has certainly expanded my artistic tendencies. And it’s a great escape from the old “ball-and-chain” rules of photography. Yet, the results you see here can be extremely difficult to repeat. (And while software can produce somewhat similar results, it is far more rewarding to create these types of creative images within the camera.) The key is finding a good balance of abstraction and detail … just enough detail to provide the viewer a sense of what you’re photographing. Otherwise, the photo just looks like a blurry accident. Over the past year, I’ve been experimenting with this technique at length. Look for more of these impressionistic nature images in the future. 


(Click the photo for a larger view.)


One Response

  1. I was wondering how you did that. I am also curious how u did that columbine photo as well. I knew you didn’t photoshop it but I have no idea how u pulled that off.

    heading to a familiar place tomorrow…

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: