Spring is here, and we’ve already seen a number of photographs of flowers in the Shutter Photo @ Flickr Pool. But this great photo titled “Flowers on the Porch” by Judy Knesel stood out from the rest and caught my eye. Don’t get me wrong, there are a lot of great flower photos among the pool, but when it comes to capturing common shots like flowers, some stand out among the rest. In the case of Judy’s photo, the thing that sets it apart is the dreamy nature of the shot.
Before I go on, please realize that I do not know for certain how exactly Judy captured this photograph. But based on my own experiences, I can make some educated guesses. The effect you see here is most likely the result of a zoom technique – a (relatively) slow shutter speed shot where you zoom in or out during the exposure (we discuss in more detail in an article, Fun With Slow Shutter Speeds). It’s a fun technique that requires a bit of practice, but as you can see – the results can be staggering.
This effect can also be done in post-processing with a filter for Photoshop (or your favorite editing program). If done well, the results can be equally as stunning. If Judy created the zoom effect in post processing, I commend her for her efforts. Sometimes, mimicking an in-camera effect can be harder than doing it in-camera – and the zoom effect can be one of those.
When I see a photo utilizing a unique technique like this, I always feel I need to take a step back. If the effect weren’t in use, would it still be a great photo? I try to see through the effect when evaluating a photo. “Flowers On The Porch” passed my test. Pretend, for a moment, that the effect is not present and evaluate the shot compositionally. The most dominant flower sits at the cross-hairs dividing the left third and the right third. We have a tight crop so that nothing in the background would distract us. Color is exceptional – a nice contrast from the greenery of the leaves. And there is plenty of repetition with all the flowers in the frame. Needless to say, there’s plenty of things to qualify this photograph as a great one. The zoom effect just adds an extra little bit of finesse to make it stand out from the rest.
As a side note, this is Judy’s photo for Day 21 of her photo-a-day project. There’s an interesting story associated with this shot that Judy relates on her blog – about a grumpy employee at a coffee shop.