Posted on December 4, 2011
‘To create interesting images of moving subjects requires some practice’
In my latest blog post I commented on Serge Deboffle’s exhibition entitled Art Animalier. Looking at what he showed at the Nature Photo Festival in Montier en Der made me look quite differently at the cranes gathering on Lac en Der.
It’s quite renowned that November brings thousands of cranes to France, in their migration from the northern parts of Europe. A couple of weeks ago I had the opportunity to see some big flocks flying together, and I could even go to Lac en Der before sunrise. To be there at the break of dawn when they gradually awakened to the first lights of the day was quite a unique experience then, as they slowly gathered to reach the day’s feeding spot.
This year, I have to admit, the lack of water in the lake was a big problem: the birds were too far away to be captured as portraits or even landscape shots. That’s when I could recall Serge Deboffle’s work to my mind and decided to experiment on the technique of abstract images. One of the techniques I currently used was panning, i.e. you move the camera horizontally and scan the moving subject as it moves along.
Proper panning imples motion. It creates the feeling of movement and speed without blurring the subject – as a slow shutter speed would tend to do. Indeed, think of the Tour de France: the biker you photography is sharp but the road and the surrounding are a blur, giving the impression of movement and speed.
My idea was to get the exact opposite in my images : I wanted the crane not to be sharp, or let’s say, their bodies would be but not their moving wings.
That was not as easy as I might have imagined, just because you want to see something, and not just a blurry stripe or some dark dots floating in the sky of your photo. So after numerous and various camera settings, I managed to capture some kind of picture I once had had in mind.
The result will be the same as painting: some people will claim that kind of photography is not their cup of tea, as opposed to me. Indeed, in my opinion, it’s always nice to learn and experience something new while trying out new techniques.