Pure beauty (Zoom effect)

Jan Clarke

Joined January 2010

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Artist's Description

I bought a(nother) bunch of beautiful, pure white gladiolis. I bought a bunch a couple of weeks ago but the stalks weren’t all straight and this made it very difficult to shoot them. This bunch, though, has only straight stalks.

I bought them to experiment with the Zoom effect again. This involves moving the zoom lens while the shutter is open, using either the Bulb setting or a timed exposure. I’ve done this before with varying degrees of success! This time, I’m really pleased with the result.

The stalks were rather long so, instead of shooting them on my kitchen table as usual, I used a small coffee table – even this was barely low enough to have the tips below the top of my backdrop.

I was being particularly fussy this time and I noticed something I hadn’t before – when moving the zoom from, say 30 mm to 100 mm, the effect is softer than what you get when moving it from 100 mm to 30 mm. When moving from a small focal length (30) to a large one (100), I call that zooming in; the reverse I call zooming out. The f/ stop and the amount of time taken to wind the zoom affects the brightness of the shot.

Thanks for looking, I hope you like it. All comments and criticisms are appreciated.

The Technical goodies:

Tripod-mounted Pentax K100D, Sigma 28 – 80 mm lens,
Shot in RAW on Bulb-mode, with an LED desk lamp mounted on a free-standing planter pole.

The lens was set on 80 mm to start with and moved down to 28 mm while the shutter was open.

Exposure time: 1.7 seconds;
Apperture: f/8.0;
ISO: 400; and
Focal length: 28 – 80 mm.

Whilst in the RAW viewer, I increased the brightness of the photo as it was a little dark. In Photoshop, I increased the size of it and saved it as a .JPG for posting.

Artwork Comments

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