Week 7 – ICM, Focus and Silhouette

Week 6 – Covers

Reminder: You have until 11.59 pm today, Sunday May 10th to get your cover shots in for week 6.

Week 7 – Three In-camera Techniques

Three different techniques that can create an air of mystery: Intentional Camera Movement (ICM), Out of Focus and Silhouette.

All easy to do but for an exceptional image they require some careful thought. The challenge is to get the result in-camera. Each is simple to effect in Photoshop post-processing but this week’s theme is to think about the effect, plan it out and take the shot to deliberately use one of these techniques. Post-processing can be used to refine the shot, e.g. crop, exposure adjustments, vignette, soften to pastel, remove or cover unwanted “blemishes” etc.


It is relatively easy to take pictures with Intentional Camera Movement. Typically set a slower shutter speed and move the camera as you press the shutter. But how relevant is matching the movement to the subject? Should a wheel be photographed with a circular movement and a tree with a vertical movement? What happens if we swap that “rule”? Will the resultant image be recognisable or abstract? Will the image tell us something additional or just be a colourful smear? Is panning an ICM? Is ILM a valid ICM (I think I have just invented the term ILM to mean Intentional Lens Movement, e.g. zoom blur or freelensing.) What happens if we overlay or merge the same static shot onto the ICM image? Please avoid using post-processing filters like motion-blur; instead, experiment with different exposure times and amount of ICM applied when taking each shot.

Out of Focus

It is relatively easy to take pictures that are out of focus – I do it much more often than I intend. To deliberately take a good image out of focus needs some careful thought. Why would you want to? How much out of focus will create an interesting image? Should you still be able to discern what the subject is? Should a small part of the picture remain in focus and should this be the main subject or another part of the image? Is a shot through glass smeared with Vaseline an out-of-focus shot? (don’t Vaseline your lens, it is hell to clean off.) Please avoid using post-processing filters like Gaussian-blur or Lens-blur, instead experiment with different apertures and distances etc.


Relying on the outline shape of the subject, silhouettes have been used for centuries. Typically we have a bright background and darker subject, we expose (or slightly underexpose) for the background, e.g. the sky, and let the subject go black. There are many variations; white silhouette on a dark background, colours, should the silhouette retain a small amount of detail. Try a flashgun or lights to brighten the background or photograph an indoor item against the window. Please avoid using post-processing techniques, e.g. by select the subject and dragging the exposure down, but some use of black or shadow sliders might be necessary to achieve the end result.


Enter up to three images, they can be of the same technique or a mix and match. Can anyone capture one image comprising of all three?

Your pictures to be taken during the week beginning Monday, May 11th and the closing date is Sunday, 17th May 11.59 pm. Submit to the usual PhotoEntry > Stuck At Home  event.

More details on how to submit at bedfordcameraclub.co.uk/stuck-at-home-weekly-image

Optional extras…

Your Comments

To add additional and interesting information about your image, e.g. how you took or processed it, please feel free to add it to the COMMENTS metadata field or send it to me in a separate email. These will be seen with your image in the online album. (Optionally the TITLE metadata field can also be used to display your title in bold in the Adobe album)


To request a personal critique, from one of the club’s best photographers, of one or more of your images, please email critiques@bedfordcameraclub.co.uk with the TITLE(S) of your image. The critique may be discussed at the members’ Zoom meeting on Tuesday unless you state in your email PRIVATE.


The images in the online album are now being added in the same order that you have sequenced them in PhotoEntry, i.e. image 1 of 3 will be the first image of your three in the album, image 2 will be second etc. Thus if you have a sequential “panel” of images they will appear consecutively. However, they may get split over two rows; if this is an issue let me know by email, in advance, and, if you are lucky, I will remember to isolate them into one row.

Ian Whiting, dev@colink.co.uk