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Thread: Shooting technique for a "warp speed" or "tunnel vision" effect?

  1. #1
    Member mkfotos's Avatar
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    Shooting technique for a "warp speed" or "tunnel vision" effect?

    Hi everyone!

    New to the forum and excited to be on here.

    I would like to get some opinions and advice on how to shoot the "warp speed" effect on my DSLR.

    To be more specific; consider a pan shot from left to right (or vise versa) at a slow shutter speed blurring the background giving the effect the subject is travelling much faster than it is.

    Now I've been practicing and trying to mimic this effect through the depth field of vision, i.e. as the subject is travelling directly towards or away the camera lens, blurring the entire perimeter into the focal center point of the subject. The result being a "warp speed" effect as what you would see the starship enterprise do when it turns on it's after burners.

    I would appreciate any techniques for shooting this type of photo.

    Thanks!!

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    Process involves using a slightly longer exposure and moving the focus point (manual focus) in time with the subject's movement. Don't know how hard it is to do as I've never tried it, but I do like the effect in the right circumstances.
    Waz
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    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
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    If you have a zoom lens you could try the ubiquitous zooming during exposure trick.

    DSE_9888_01.JPG

    This is my one and only attempt at this sort of thing(haven't really got all that interested in the genre)

    Basically what you want to do(with your zoom lens).
    Depending on how large you want your subject in the scene, you will zoom to the appropriate point to get the framing right.

    eg. if you want a person large in the image, and you had an 18-105mm zoom lens, you'd want to zoom into about 100mm or so.
    You will have the camera/lens on a tripod, and you want the exposure to be quite long(10sec or so is a good start).
    Aperture value isn't important .. just set it to get a good exposure on your subject.

    So if you start at 100mm, and you decided on a 10sec exposure, you want at least 5sec of that exposure at 100mm.
    You count the time down in your head.
    At that 5or so sec point, you then slowly zoom out for the rest of the exposure, which creates those light trails(looking like the Enterprise zooming along).

    There is a subtle difference in zooming from wide to long focal lengths with the light trails, but the major difference is in the size of the subject.

    The basic premise is: to get your subject exposed a bit sharply, the image will 'burn in' a rendition of the subject for 5sec. This dominates the area of the scene covered by the main subject.
    In my example it's the tree.
    I can't remember exactly the time taken for the tree portion, but the idea to understand is that the longer the exposure for one part, the more prominent is the rendering of that part in the image.
    So the reason you see the tree at all, and not blurred, is simply because about 5sec or so of this image is of the tree.
    The other 5seconds of the image are moments at other focal lengths. You really don't see those moments at the other focal lengths because they only lasted for brief moments.
    The lens used in that image is an 18-105mm lens. Started at 18mm stayed there for about 5 sec(can't remember exactly) and then the other half of the exposure the lens went from 18mm all the way to 105mm.

    I hope the idea of the time taken for various parts of the exposure makes sense.
    just remember that the longer you expose at one focal length, the more burned in that part of the scene becomes.
    So an 8sec exposure on the tree in my image would have had a more 'focused' tree. I would have then had weaker looking light trails if I kept to my 10sec exposure.

    An alternative to this method could be, (still on a tripod) to take a 10sec exposure at a set focal length.
    Again say 5sec on your subject. After those 5sec, you can then pan(smoothly) across the scene.
    This will then have a pretty good rendering of the subject and the light trails will streak across the image.

    All this assumes that you have lights in the scene to create light trails .. and that it's quite dark too.
    There's a bit of experimenting in such a technique for you to play with.
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    Ausphotography Regular Hawthy's Avatar
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    I think that Arthur has nailed it for you.

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    Ausphotography irregular Mark L's Avatar
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    Post a photo in the CC forums somwhere of something you've taken and trying to achieve. Then ask how to do it better, any tips, etc?
    While AK's contribution is worthwhile, it may have nothing to do with what you're trying to achieve.

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    thanks for the right up, often wonder how it was done.

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    Thats a nice shot arthurking83. I've been able to get the same effect on my photos.
    Also thanks to everyone for the advice. I've been getting more comfortable with this technique throughout the last few months of events I've been to.
    There's no secret to it, just you guys have mentioned adjusting the focus and zoom point with a slow shutter speed.
    The trick however.......is getting that timely balance. and that just comes from practice.
    thanks guys

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    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mkfotos View Post
    .....
    The trick however.......is getting that timely balance. and that just comes from practice.
    ......


    Also, look into different variations of using your flash in the mix too.
    Can't remember what camera you have(or if you have a speedlight flash, and whatnot) .. but flash can help with getting a good image too.
    Timing the flash at the correct point in the exposure can give nice results.

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