What is ICM? ICM is intentional camera movement; not to be confused with shaky or blurry by accident or not having the ability to hold very very still. The idea with ICM is to move the camera on purpose during exposure to make a creative or artistic image. There are photographers who have a certain style of camera movement in order to achieve the look they want. Some do a flick of the wrist, a quick panning motion or any other method in order to get that artistic effect.
ICM also involves using certain apertures and filters in order to not have the image blown out, to extend the time of the exposure and to leave some of the object you are photographing identifiable but with streaking – unless you want a truly abstract image. It definitely takes time and patience in order to get all of the elements (exposure time, lighting, streaking, camera movement direction) to come together to your liking.
It’s been very hot and humid here for some time with recent afternoon/early evening showers coming almost like clockwork. We were downtown and as the sky was darkening and raindrops were beginning to fall upon our heads, we made for the parking garage but didn’t quite make it. So we decided to play around with ICM under some shelter while waiting for the rain to slow enough for us to make for the garage.
Not having any filters with me (ND and polarizing work best) I just experimented with my settings until I got reasonably close to something I liked while trying this technique on the fly. Some people liken the end image to motion blur or light painting and I can see that but they aren’t quite the same. For this image I did a slow and quick wobbly panning motion.
The idea with ICM is to do this with an object that really isn’t moving (unlike the traffic shot above) like buildings or landscapes. Here I did back and forth motions which created some interesting designs of street and car lights in front of the convention center. I really liked how the reflections on the rainy street turned out.
People must have thought us strange standing there waving our cameras around while the rain was pouring down and it’s a technique I’d like to try again but with filters and trying to find which motion gives me the best look.
Here are two links concerning ICM.
Do you think this is something you’d like to try or have you tried it already?