How to shoot a ‘Zoom Burst’ ?

zom burst 02

Truck on the highway – effect of Zoom Burst

Zoom burst is an effect created by shooting a picture while the zoom ring is rotated. This gives a feel of radial blur – the middle part of the frame is relatively sharp and clear whereas the edges of the frame will take the blurring effect.

  1. This can be tried with both moving and still subjects. The still subject will give a feel of movement…!
  2. You can choose to use this technic on some dynamic subjects like automobiles or any other action prompting subjects. You can also use this on people when you want to make a special emphasis on to an individual leaving others behind in blur.
  3. Preferably use short zooms (18-55mm/24-70mm) for good effects of radial blur.
  4. Use zooming in or zooming out action for not more than 10 to 15mm range ie.You can zoom in from 18mm to 35mm or 24mm to 40mm. This will maintain clarity and sharpness in the middle of the frame.
  5. Use shutter speeds closer to 1/30, 1/45, 1/60 and rotate the zoom ring at variable speeds for getting a right effect.
  6. Check for the ideal exposure before trying the actual ‘Zoom burst’. A shutter priority exposure mode will be a good choice.
  7. Use AF servo in Canon or AFC in Nikon and continuous shooting mode for better results.
  8. If the camera is on a stable base or tripod, it will prevent the unnecessary hand shake while shooting still subjects.
  9. May be you can tilt the frame a bit for a dynamic feel.
  10. Avoid plain and flat backgrounds. Backgrounds with good colours and patterns are most ideal for zoom burst shots


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