Woodland and Trees

ICM Inspiration, ICM technique

Exercises to Develop Your ICM Understanding

It was a delight to present on the Camversation webinar platform yesterday. So very pleased and delighted that so many people joined me for the first of the webinar series – Woodlands and trees. If you missed it last night, you can still go and get a recording for the next 2 weeks. The webinars are priced at just £5, so for over an hour and a half of content and loads of examples, you have learning at your fingertips for a tiny investment. Here is the link to the woodland and trees one. https://www.camversation.co.uk/event-details/icm-exploration-1-woodland-and-trees-with-charlotte-bellamy

SMALL GROUP FEEDBACK SESSIONS to develop your icm understanding

In addition to the webinars, I am offering small group feedback sessions, if you would like to go away and practise the exercises that I outlined in the webinar, and have any questions you have answered or see if you are on the right track. At just 6 in a group, you have an excellent chance to deepen your understanding of each subject. You can submit 5 images and will have around 15 minutes feedback per individual, plus the bonus of hearing the invaluable feedback on the images of others in the group. If you are interested please sign up here:  https://tidycal.com/charlotte-bellamy/group-mentoring-1y0lpjy click on the date you are interested in and book a ticket. If the sessions fill up, I will endeavour to add an extra one.

So, I thought in addition to the webinar and PDF, I would use this opportunity to show me experimenting with each of the exercises I set for this subject. So hopefully these add a little more inspiration if you are going to give it a go this week. As a reminder I have added the exercises before my examples.

  1. Experiment with different movements

  1. Find out whether you like upwards or downwards movements.
  2. Move the camera horizontally just to see what happens.
  3. Look at the actual movements of the trees – how can you replicate these?

This is actually a really fun one to do. It’s an exercise to put away your expectations, and just go and see what happens. You will never know if you don’t try! In general In always start this exercise with the most obvious movement, then move on. Images numbered in order as they appear.

Image 1. Is my starting point. ¼ sec. A simple upwards movement. My hand is never perfectly steady; hence you so see a slight wiggle in the upwards movement. This is a good starting point, but I see too much white in the sky and the green leaves have been dragged a bit too far.

Image 2. This time I tried a slight diagonal upwards to the left movement. 0.8 seconds. I find this worse than the image 1 – more distractions and the colour is dragged and the trunks have lost their form.

Image 3 – I went against all my recommendations and made a slight left right movement! ¼ sec.  Its fun to see what happens sometimes. By moving left then right I havn’t dragged the forms in one direction horizontally. Actually I quite like this image as it looks like the branches are full of colour and it helps show the forms of where the branches are – less keen on the sky though!

Image 4 – I started to play with bigger movements, a bit of a shake and round movement. 1.6 seconds. I find this sits a bit too close to a non-intentional camera movement and just looks a bit blurry to me.

Image 5 – This is my favourite. 1.6 seconds. I love how the whole image is soft and full of colour. Although I have lost the sharpness of the trunk forms.

Image 6 – Just playing! 0.8 seconds. Just seeing what happens when I do a looping movement – very fast with the camera. The end result is nothing I find special, but it’s another movement to try.

  1. Experiment with different shutter speeds
    • Start with ¼ of a second – how does that feel – is it too fast for you? Is the image too soft, too much details.
    • What happens when you give yourself 1 second? Can you fill it? Do you just move your camera slower/more thoughtfully or do you change your movements?
    • How slow can you go before you need to add a filter?
    • For fun, try 1/10 sec (very short) and 4 seconds (very long) – do you like either – you never know if you don’t try!

At this location I experimented with some different shutter speeds. The two images I have shared here are made at 0.8 seconds and 13 seconds. You will see the 0.8 seconds shutter speed image holds a lot more detail. The movement was fast and short. The trunks remain in form and it’s just the leaves of the tree that seem to have movement – I quite like this.

The second image of 13 seconds has a much more impressionistic look to it, more creative, more like a painting, and more abstract. The tree trunks now become just shadows rather than forms. You will see the light is a lot flatter in the second image, and it probably needs a little more work on it, to make the most of what is in the image.

Photography ICM Experiment with different shutter speeds
  1. Experiment with different shutter speeds
    • Start with ¼ of a second – how does that feel – is it too fast for you? Is the image too soft, too much details.
    • What happens when you give yourself 1 second? Can you fill it? Do you just move your camera slower/more thoughtfully or do you change your movements?
    • How slow can you go before you need to add a filter?
    • For fun, try 1/10 sec (very short) and 4 seconds (very long) – do you like either – you never know if you don’t try!

At this location I experimented with some different shutter speeds. The two images I have shared here are made at 0.8 seconds and 13 seconds. You will see the 0.8 seconds shutter speed image holds a lot more detail. The movement was fast and short. The trunks remain in form and it’s just the leaves of the tree that seem to have movement – I quite like this.

The second image of 13 seconds has a much more impressionistic look to it, more creative, more like a painting, and more abstract. The tree trunks now become just shadows rather than forms. You will see the light is a lot flatter in the second image, and it probably needs a little more work on it, to make the most of what is in the image.

3. Experiment with when to press the shutter

  • Two options to try 
  • Remember to keep moving the camera after you press the shutter!!!!!
  • Do you like it or do you feel you loose some control?

Experimenting with when to press the shutter is always an interesting one. The biggest thing to remember, is that if you start moving then press the shutter…..you need to remember to keep moving! Otherwise you have a still image. I like experimenting with this, but my biggest challenge is not feeling in complete control, not knowing where the image is actually starting when I am already moving before I make the image.

Experiment with 'when to press the shutter' with Charlotte Bellamy, Camversation Webinar

These two images were created using the two techniques – the 1st pressing the shutter and then moving – I had complete control of what I had in my image and where it started. I like that there is still a little texture in the trunks. The second image was moving the camera, then pressing the shutter – this one I love the abstract colour and lines effect.

Experiment with different lenses or zoom lengths for ICM

4. Experiment with different lenses or zoom lengths

  • You can do this with just a zoom lens or different lenses.
  • What happens with your movements when you use a wider lens?
  • What sort of compositions do you like in the woods?
  • Do you find a zoom lens allows you to compose your image better?

The last challenge is a little harder to show you the effects. But I often do use my zoom lens at different lengths from one position to create different results and compositions. Here is an example of that.

I hope this helped explain the exercises and opportunities. Remember you can still get a copy of the woodland and trees recording, and/or join in with the feedback sessions.

Next week is water! 

https://www.camversation.co.uk/event-details/icm-exploration-2-water-with-charlotte-bellamy

You might be interested in my blog posts of ICM taken by the roadside in Holland. Colours of the rainbow…. https://charlottebellamy.com/wild-all-the-colours-of-the-rainbow/

A black and white photo of Charlotte Bellamy

Hi, I'm Charlotte

Creative Artist