This article has appeared in the current issue (March 2016 issue) of JetWings, the in-flight magazine of Jet Airways! A ‘Photography Tips & Tricks Series’ Post.
The Zoom Burst Photography technique can infuse photographs with a burst of energy or dynamism; lend them an abstract, artistic quality or a sense of mystique; or create a focus or strong leading lines that draw the viewer’s eyes to the core subject.
What is Zoom Burst Photography
It involves smoothly zooming in or out while the trigger is pressed, and it makes the subject ‘burst’ forth from the centre of the frame, blurs the sides of the frame and creates dramatic streaks. There is no need for any specialised equipment to achieve stunning images through this technique—a DSLR camera, a zoom lens and a tripod is enough.
Exif: f/2.8 | 2.5 sec | ISO 100 | 70 mm zoomed out to 24 mm
While Bangkok’s skyline offers interesting detail around the waterfront and near the Grand Palace, the general cityscape is quite ordinary. I chose an imposing high-rise as my centrepiece, zoomed in to accommodate a part of it in the frame, adjusted the exposure, pressed the trigger, and then zoomed out as smoothly as possible to achieve this futuristic-looking frame.
Exif: f/13 | 3.2 sec | ISO 200 | 70 mm zoomed out to 25 mm
Not too long ago, I set out to photograph the Diwali festivities around Gurgaon, but only came across isolated islands of illumination that offered little visual interest on their own. Since I was on the road with scant access to any dramatic vantage, I resorted to the zoom burst photography technique to add some much-needed sparkle.
In a daze:
Exif: f/2.8 | 4 sec | ISO 160 | 70 mm zoomed out to 24 mm
A little patience and a touch of zoom burst was all it took to add a soft, dreamy, romantic feel to an ordinary subject.
Exif: f/13 | 2.5 sec | ISO 100 | 200 mm zoomed out to 70 mm
While these frames displayed on a rustic wall had a charm of their own, a photograph of them would not have been very inspiring to a viewer. To add a touch of the abstract, I captured this interesting decor element through zoom burst photography.
Exif: f/13 | 2 sec | ISO 200 | 70 mm zoomed out to 27 mm
Strings of colourful LED lights were draped around trees as decorations. No matter what angle I chose, they did not provide enough body to the photographic frame. In a sudden burst of inspiration, I decided to use the zoom burst photography technique, which did the trick.