Creating motion in an image of something that isn’t moving is a fun way of abstracting nature. Try to imagine what you would see when you quickly glance at a scene without giving your eyes a chance to focus before you look away. You are left with a sense of emotion and colour that come together to form an instant impression.
Example #1: a beach scene. While the ocean is of course moving with its undulating waves, we can create side-to-side motion by panning the camera from left to right. This takes lots of practice to get a feel for how much to move the camera – but it is lots of fun because each image is always unique. Use a long exposure and move the camera slowly. This works best with the kind of tripod with two handles so you are only moving on one plane keeping the camera steady from any vertical movement. Start moving the camera before you trip the shutter and continue moving it after the shutter closes.
You can also try this using a static image and applying motion blur in Photoshop.
Example #2: a forest scene. You can emphasize the height of trees in a forest by panning from top to bottom. Again this works best if you can use a tripod with two handles in order to prevent any horizonal movement. It isn’t always necessary to use a tripod at all if you get lots of practice. This shot was done hand held. Try to get a scene with not much sky showing or you will create bright spots in your image.
Example #3: another forest scene, but this time with a wide angle lens. Now if you try to pan from top to bottom with a wide angle lens, you will find the lines of motion become curved. That’s no good! This image was a static image and then I applied a zoom blur in Photoshop. I moved the centre of the zoom blur to the top of the frame so the zoom would all go in one direction creating a feeling of movement upward.
These are so much fun to create I’m sure you will find yourself addicted to it once you try it. Have fun!