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Creating Impressionism through Intentional Camera Movement

As photographers we can become obsessed by sharpness and detail in our work, anything out of focus or blurry consigned straight to the bin. Intentional Camera Movement is not easily understood by those constrained by these concepts.

Intentional Camera Movement (ICM) is a technique used by photographers to capture a form of abstract art known as impressionism. Rather than keeping the camera fixed in position the photographer moves the camera in a horizontal or vertical plane while keeping the shutter open to create motion blur.

This creates a very simplified impressionistic look to the image. Vistas which are complex and cluttered become simplified to their movement.

Intentionally moving the camera in this way changes the way we perceive reality which I find to be an incredibly creative and allows us to bring photography close to art. 


If you go down to the woods today you are in for a big surprise. Still images of woodlands can leave a lot to be desired. They tend to be really detailed and have many distraction elements. 

ICM with a vertical movement especially with areas of high contrast such as Silver Birch do produce some amazing artistic renditions if reality.


I do relish the challenge of Landscapes and Seascapes. Sea which is static and in focus does leave me a little cold.

Add a horizontal camera movement and we are in the realm of the impressionistic masters capturing the pure joy of movement.