Having fun with Zoom Burst

No this is not Radial Blur effect from Photoshop filter. This is one of the creative photography technique called “zoom burst”. To achieve this effect, you need to adjust the zoom ring of your camera, while holding down the shutter button with shutter speed below than 1/60 sec. So to get a nice zoom burst photo, you need a steady hand, while I’m not :P.

According to Wikipedia, photographs taken with this technique are characterized by blurred streaks emenating from the center of the photograph. This effect is nearly identical to a motion blur image in which the camera is traveling towards the subject. For this reason the zoom burst is typically used to create an impression of motion towards the subject. Besides this effect is great for photo shoots that involves movement for example, sports games like cycling or car racing.

Actually I learn this technique from my office colleague (picture shown below), when we going for lunch at McDonald, KL Sentral. He is also a photography hobbyist. As I am still new in DSLR photography, he teach me a lot of basic knowledge and I really appreciate it and thankful. He told me that to determine whether a photograph is taken with great exposure, you need to check the histogram. A good exposure gives you mountain shape towards the center histogram.

Well this point was supported from one article I read in Digital Camera Magazine. The expert photographer said that, a histogram with a wide, dynamic range and good exposure will show a peaked shape toward the center. While peak on the left signifies underexposed, and peak on the right means your photo is overexposed. If shows a peak on both left and right, there’s a wide variation in the tones of the picture.

I did check my photos’ histogram, and less of them is showing this. This is hard, but I will learn from trials and errors. Well, this is how the things evolved, play and learn, including this zoom burst effect :D.

So, you have a camera with manual zoom and have not try this effect, you should try it because the photos you took might give you unexpected result and the process is fun! šŸ˜€ I remember I laughed out a lot while taking this zoom burst photo.


The colleague I mentioned above. But this one is like zoom towards the left side of him.
Gotcha, Mr. Filet-o-Fish!
Zoom to the ceiling.

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