ICM Photography - 3 SIMPLE steps to a MASTERPIECE
ICM photography (Intentional Camera Movements Photography) is an abstract form of photography - the photos turn out in a kind of painterly style with emulated brushstrokes.
So many landscape photographers who try icm photography first time struggle, because they don't consider all ingredients to get out a masterpiece. It seems that most beginners think it were just a little bit of wiggling and shaking and an abstract worldclass photo would come out. It is easier than many would think, but there are a couple of things to be considered.
#1 Which camera gear to use for ICM photography?
You can use each camera you want. The only requirements are, that you are able to choose aperture, shutterspeed and iso by yourself and that you are able to put a neutral density filter (nd filter) onto your lens. I prefer to use a light weight camera (my Sony A6500 or A6000 with kit lens) and a variable nd filter to be able to always use a low iso of 100. But it would also work with a fix nd filter like a 3 or 6 stop filter and you increase the iso.
Which settings you have to use for your icm photos depends on the weather and on the style you want to achieve. Do I want to get out a kind of oil painterly style in my photos, I tend to open my aperture, to get thicker lines. On harsh light situations in woodland I go down with my exposure time for maybe 0,4 to 0,6sec.
#2 The right ICM photography technique
There exists not one right technique that could be used for all icm photos. I look at the defining lines of my composition, the lines that are characteristic to understand the subject. In woodland these are verticals for instance, as the trees usually grow vertically. In that case I also move my camera vertically while I expose, to emphasis the tree lines.
A very important point is to find out the right speed of the movement. This depends on the shutter speed in the one hand, but also on the harshness or softness of light and the distracting in the scene. Do I want to get more motion blure into my photo, I tend to move faster. This is a thing what I always try to find out before I start.
# 3 Find a composition for icm photography
Not all types of composition work with every choosen settings. To find out which kind of compositions work for my icm photography, I just try. Do I put my emphasis more on single trees for instance, or do I want to get a wider scene into my frame, maybe with a path leading into the frame? This is a good option when the light is a bit harsher and illuminates the foliage in woodland for example.
It's that easy. Just give it a try and be creative!
Check out my gear, which I use for my landscape photography:
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