michael orton | photography

ICM - Intentional Camera Motion

My earlier influences were always from a more painterly approach. I have been using camera motion since I began photographing years ago. My latest work, "Freedom" as seen in the video and Galleries has rekindled my passion for photography. It involves using a digital camera, compound camera motion and changing focal length and focus to paint my version of the landscape. Images vary from abstract to defined, combining colors as the camera moves.

The main difference now is that I left my tripod and larger camera bag behind and began working with only one body and one lens. This time I just let go and experimented without any preconceptions as to what I might do with these images. Camera motion began to evolve into compound camera motion - combining two or more movements at the same time. Besides this, some images were made by changing focus or focal length as this compound camera motion was being used. To me, the really exciting part, beyond being able to shape and “draw” the raw material, is the blending and mixing of colors to produce secondary colors. In other words, I was getting colors in the final raw file that were not visible to my eye when I made the image. Rain became a major factor in creating these images. The reflection from the rain causes brilliant colors that seem almost unbelievable. Some of the most vibrant colors were produced while working with material such as an old decaying tree stump by blending the colors together. The usual adjustments in exposure and levels etc. have been used. The natural landscape provides an unlimited color palette.

I have produced a short introduction to this technique in the video “A Walk in the Palm Grove”,

Michael Orton Photography YouTube Channel

"Consider camera motion in this way: The landscape you see through the viewfinder is a canvas wet with paint, your film in your camera is a blank sheet of white paper pressed against it. Any movement of your camera will result in the landscape being painted onto the film according to the movement." Photographing Creative Landscapes - Michael Orton, 2002.

Podcast #101 on Photography.ca with Marko Kulik 2011

(Direct link to Podcast MP3)