Wulf's Webden

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Leaf Zoom

Above is a photograph I took on the church weekend away, in the grounds of Ashburnham Place. While I am not averse to developing my pictures in the digital darkroom, normally with The Gimp, this one is straight from the camera.

How did I do it? The zoom effect was achieved by adjusting the focal length (zooming out) while the shutter was open. This affects the edges of the image more than the centre, hence the effect. The result is a picture that focuses on the subject in the centre, providing it with a complementary abstract border.

The essential requisite (aside from a camera with a zoom lens) is to have a slow enough shutter speed to give time to change the focal length. I stopped down to f/22 and found that 1/25s was enough time for a sharp twist; more controllable results might come if you have a neutral density filter or can wait until the light is dimmer (I was outside on a bright autumn morning and needed to seize the moment). The camera was handheld. A tripod may also have helped (or been essential with a slower shutter speed) although it would have made positioning less flexible.

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