The Light Slide

fun with photography

ICM Four Ways: A Sunset

The last three months have been hellish — surgically patching my spinal leak (yay!) caused me to suffer unbearable side effects from my IV immunoglobulin therapy (oh no!) and I had to quit it "cold turkey," without an alternative lined up (oh fuck).

While I waited for the insurance company to do their damn jobs and approve me for subcutaneous Ig, my autoimmune disorder surged.

Finally, ~14 weeks later, I've got enough SCIg treatments under my belt to raise my levels back up to where I feel well again.

And now I'm back to photography!

Let's talk icm

Last time I wrote about heavily editing photographs for a painterly effect.

This time I wanted to see what I could achieve in a single exposure…

So I took the Sigma fp out with the Super Takumar 135mm f/3.5, to experiment with the sunset. Systematically.

Here's what I learned!

First, the photographs

And these are photographs: I did spot removal and basic tweaks to exposure and color only, no layering, blurry, or manipulation.

ICM: The actual scenery
a normal photograph of the sunsetx
ICM: 4 ways
rotate pan, whole body, held rigid
ICM: 4 ways
whole body pan, loosely held
ICM: 4 ways
whole body pan, with one big dip in the knee
ICM: 4 ways
whole body pan, bouncy knees

What I learned: Physical technique matters!

Most videos and posts about ICM show the photographer with arm extended, flicking and twisting the camera about at the wrist. That gives wildly variable results, in my experience. I don't love jaggy overlapping images. And that's what you get with a flick movement which comes to rest at the end, on a specific spot: that last "frame" becomes more prominent.

But the best thing I've found for smooth, buttery icm is to use your whole body as if it were a tripod.

Hold the camera still — brace it on your face, ideally — then rotate from the hips, and dip or swing from the knees.

Move before you press the shutter, then keep moving until after it's done.

This makes big, smooth movements easy.

The continuous motion before & after the shutter prevents that "last frame" effect.

And I also learned… I'm still lazy and easily bored

I've been extending the shutter speed for these photos by stopping down to f/22 and it's really harshing on my fun. All those "tiny dusts" come out to play; my sensor and lenses need cleaning, I'm sure, but nobody is meant to shoot at f/22. Thank science you can copy & paste Spot Removal in Lightroom.

But… due to the large fields of soft color and linear banding… the Healing tool sometimes makes a real hash of it. And it's such a pain to fix.

I need a great ND filter (and step up rings), stat.

I do not have the patience to dab dab dab delete dab dab delete dab dab curse delete dab dab dab for hours.