One of the most fun and creative ways of using your zoom lens is to create a blur effect while taking your photos. This can be done by zooming the lens in or out while taking the shot. The final image will then look like the subject is either moving away from you or towards you due to the blurry motion lines in the background. This effect can also be created with a software editing program, but it’s not as much fun.
It’s not a very difficult procedure to master. All you need to do is set your shutter speed to a relatively long exposure and then when the shutter is open and taking the photo you just need to zoom in to your subject or zoom out. It’s a good procedure to experiment with to see the various types of effects you can achieve.
Since the shutter speed is going to be slow you’ll need to keep the camera as steady as you possibly can. A little bit of camera shake could add a neat effect, but it could also make the image too blurry, so this is something you can practice. Using a tripod could be a big help. These types of photos often work better in lower-light conditions.
This is because the shutter is open for a longer amount of time and more light is getting into the camera. If you use a large aperture number it will let in less light. If there’s too much light getting in, your shots could be overexposed.
In fact, while we’re on the topic of light, you’ll find that some of the best zoom-effect photos are created when taking shots of lights, such as neon signs and city lights etc. Lights will often create some pretty wild effects when zooming in or out. Also, if you don’t happen to have a zoom lens or your camera won’t allow you to zoom while its shutter is open you can create the same effect by simply moving your camera in or out with your hand manually.
You’ll also have to experiment with the shutter speed because there are a few things that will affect the image including the amount of light and how quickly you zoom in or out. It’s a good idea to set the shutter speed at a second an start experimenting from there. You’ll need to zoom at a constant speed if you want the images to look smooth. If you zoom in at a slower or faster pace when taking the shot it’ll be harder to achieve this. Zooming at a steady speed will result in smoother motion lines in the shots.
You can experiment by pausing the zooming action during the shot. When you pause the zoom, the camera will focus a little more clearly on what it’s focused on at that point. If you use a flash, you’ll be able to freeze a specific part of your image while the rest of the photo will still show movement. There are numerous ways to experiment with creating zoom blur, especially if your subject is moving toward or away from you and you zoom the opposite direction.
If your zoom lens is quite big and has a wide focal length you may not want to zoom the entire way. For instance, if you have a 300mm lens you might want to just zoom it part way, perhaps just to 100mm or 200mm. The main thing is to have fun and experiment as much as you like to see what type of images you can come up with. You might be surprised at how creative and wild some of the effects can be.