05-11-09 A Blurry Band

I did a series of photos with this effect for the WHS yearbook a few years ago. There are two special techniques being used. One is called “dragging the shutter.” What happens is that if you turn your flash on but manually adjust the shutter speed to a fairly slow speed, you can sometimes get some interest ghosting in the image. You can see that in the green t-shirt in the center of the photo. The other technique is to zoom in on some central subject while you push the exposure button. This creates a natural radial blur in the photo. I took 8 or 10 pictures before I got the effect I wanted.

Canon 5D 1/15s f/3.2 ISO100 75mm

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3 thoughts

  1. It can be simulated in Photoshop but not as naturally. In Photoshop all points of light are treated the same, while in this photo, the brightest specularities of the instruments appear sharper in the blur trail. Interestingly, After Effects has a radial blur effect in which you can choose which values of brightness (brightest, normal or darkest) receives the strongest treatment. Still not quite the same though.

    Btw, the photos you referred to for the past years yearbooks were some of my favorite photos in the book.

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