Digital Photography Tutorials

Experimenting with blur

If you find yourself in a pine wood on an overcast afternoon in winter with an SLR camera at your disposal then you might want to have a go at something like this…

blurry trees 1

I think they look quite painterly, don’t you? And it’s easy to do, too – simply switch to manual, slow the shutter speed right down, focus on the nearest tree and swoop up or down in the direction of the trees as you’re taking the photo…

blurry trees 2

It will probably take you a handful of shots to get the settings just right and undo all those years of training to be rigidly still whilst taking a photo…

blurry trees 3

These are pretty much straight out of the camera looking like this – no jiggery-pokery in Photoshop at all. Yes, the effect is quite limited, but it’s fun too!

blurry trees 4

All taken with Canon 5D MkII and EF 50mm f/1.4 lens.

Most settings are around 400ISO, f/22, 1/50th sec.

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  • Reply
    3 December 2011 at 22:50


  • Reply
    5 December 2011 at 08:37

    Really very lovely – and a gorgeous way to put the focus on the colours and repeating vertical lines instead of on the details of the scene.

  • Reply
    5 December 2011 at 09:12

    these look beautiful. I’m really not brave when it comes to the bulb settings on my camera, but maybe I should try it.

  • Reply
    Betty Thompson
    6 December 2011 at 03:23

    love the painterly effect very creative, a must try!

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