Zoom Blur Effect

7 Building Blocks of Photography 2

Movement in photos can look spectacular and there are loads of movement blur effects available in photo-editing software. Personally I prefer capturing movement in the camera and the ‘zoom blur’ is one of my favourites.

Basically you have to change the focal length of your lens during an exposure and can shoot a zoom blur with any lens that zooms. And you don’t need to change the focal length by much to achieve the effect.

Capturing movement blur in camera usually requires the camera, subject or both to be on the move (obvious really) but a zoom blur is the opposite. You have to keep everything still and think your way through the shooting process. Where do you want the blur to begin? Where do you want it to end? How do you achieve the correct exposure? And because you have to keep the camera dead still you’ll need my favourite piece of kit­ a tripod.

In this video you can watch me shoot this image and I’ll take you through the process and tell you the questions I ask myself to get the correct camera settings, explain why I ask them and how the zoom blur process works.

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