Fun photo technique – Zooming!

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Although Tiffany has already challenged you to a Straight Out Of Camera theme this weekend, I wanted to introduce you to a fun, admittedly silly little photo technique that you might want to try over the weekend as well.

The technique involves zooming in, only instead of the traditional method – which involves zooming in, locking your focus, and then shooting – you actually zoom in while taking the photo. It creates a crazy motion effect, one that makes me a little lightheaded if I look at it too long. Here’s a shot I took one day using this zooming technique.

Kind of nuts, right? Obviously it’s not something that you want to do on a constant basis, but it can be fun when you’re just looking to try something different. Here’s how you do it:

1. You’ll need to use a zoom lens of course!

2. Set your shutter speed to be a little on the slower side because you’ll need the shutter to stay open long enough for you to capture the zooming motion.

3. Set your ISO and Aperture accordingly so that you aren’t overexposing.

4. Using manual or automatic focus, lock your focus on whatever your subject is; in my case I focused on the statue of the Virgin Mary.

5. As soon as you press down to take the photo, use your other hand to zoom in.

That’s it! Then enjoy making people feel slightly motion sick by showing them the results!

As an aside, it may be possible to do this with a point and shoot camera by walking towards the subject as you take the photo but you would still need to at least have manual control over the shutter speed to keep it open long enough to create the effect. I haven’t tried it myself but if you do let me know if it works!

If you try this zooming technique I’d love to see your results!

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  • Joel

    I tried a more subtle “zoom burst” shot for my photo of the day a few months ago:

    Your example photo above looks really good.

  • Arighna Mitra (India)

    some cameras don't allow zooming when a picture is clicked, either you have to complete the zooming process first or you click it first. any suggestions?

  • Alexander Kiselev

    It’s very very very old tip….