Whether it is day or night, Chandni Gajria shows you how to use zoom bursts to either bring the subject closer or to push it further away.
Getting a decent zoom burst photograph is just as difficult as the technique is easy. Bright neon signs, and fully lit buildings at night look great when shot using the zoom burst technique. But even a portrait shot in daylight can look absolutely great.
Within the 1/10sec to 1/20sec range, you can opt for any shutterspeed for this technique. You will need to use a zoom lens with your camera and will have to change the focal length just after you release the shutter, and while it is still open. You can either zoom in or zoom out. The amount of blur streaks will depend on how fast you can rotate the zoom ring of the lens.
Keeping the Subject Sharp
Whether you zoom in or out, try to keep the central portion of your picture relatively sharp. While having everything blurred is fine, it is still better if the subject in the picture is at least recognisable.
Try the stepped zoom burst technique. While using a 10sec exposure, wait for 3sec, zoom in and then wait awhile more. Continue this until the shutter closes.
This article originally appeared in the November 2012 issue of Better Photography.