19/52 Playing with ICM

I have been trying my hand at something new this week, and in the process have learned a new photography term. ICM is intentional camera movement and it can be used to create interesting abstract images. Using a long exposure, you move the camera, either hand-held or mounted on a tripod, thus blurring the image. The results, depending on shutter speed and speed of your movement are either complete abstractions which remind me a little of expressionist paintings or regular scenes with a little movement added to create interest.

Having hit a bit of a project 52 wall inspiration-wise, I was prompted to give this a try by some photos I saw on Photocrowd by Kathy Medcalf who used this technique to create some really gorgeous shots of barley fields, bluebell woods and meadows. Unfortunately I do not have all the kit that one needs for long exposures in the daytime (a neutral density filter is on its way though!) so I was limited to using ISO 100, a shutter speed of 0”3 and apertures of 32+, any longer for shutter speed or wider for aperture and the shots would have been way over-exposed.

I make no apologies for these being more shots taken in our garden, it was an ideal place to try out this technique as it is full of colour. First of all I tried to get something that retained the general structure of some of the plants whilst giving a sense of movement. To begin with I tried capturing the movement in the wind of a patch of Aliums without ICM, just using a long exposure, but I struggled with over-exposed shots and a lot of nothing. Instead I tried shorter exposure and ICM, resulting in this next shot, which I quite like.

Aliums with ICM. Copyright Fiona Michie

From here I decided to try concentrating on abstracting elements of the garden, removing form and reducing them to colours. The following are a selection of the weird and wonderful results of my endeavours. These won’t be to everyone’s tastes, and I certainly need to work on technique but I had fun trying, and it reminded me that cameras can do so much more than just record what’s in front of you.

Abstract of washing hanging on a line with ICM. Copyright Fiona Michie.
Lupins with ICM. Copyright Fiona Michie.
Abstract of a Geum plant with ICM. Copyright Fiona Michie.

2 comments on “19/52 Playing with ICM

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