Flowers in Abstract

Flowers abstract motion blueCanon 5D Mark III, 24-105mm f/4L IS USM at 95mm, f/22 for 1/13s at ISO 100


I had been wanting to experiment with pan and blur techniques to create abstract photos since I saw an online seminar about it. The technique involves using slow shutter speeds and camera motion to create pleasing abstract images. When I came across this flower plant, I was drawn by the strong white, red and pink colors of the flowers and the strong lines from the plant’s stems. I initially took some rather pedestrian images of the plant, but immediately thought to myself that this would be a great opportunity to try this new technique I had learned about a couple of weeks back.

How to get this type of shot

The flowers were in deep shade covered by a large tree along the sidewalk in someone’s front yard. I already had a polarizer from the day’s shooting, all I needed to do is put my f-stop to f/22 to get as long a shutter speed as I could. An aperture of f/22 gave me 1/13s at ISO100. I experimented with different movements such as zooming, panning and in the photo above, a circular motion. There was a lady standing on the side of the road while I was doing this and she must have thought I was crazy. I shot several dozen frames and when I got home, not surprisingly, most of the images were not too interesting. However, I found the image above very pleasing with its vibrant colors and interesting shapes created by the circular camera motion. In addition, I feel the strong linear elements created by the stems really add to the image. Although this was my first time doing this technique, I had lots of fun and plan on using it in future shoots.


A neighborhood in Coronado, California (Coordinates: 32.684916,-117.181671)

7 thoughts on “Flowers in Abstract

    • Vincent, thanks for your comments and observations. I am a huge fan of the impressionist painters (my favorites being Van Gogh and Monet) so yes the effect was intended. I was drawn to the stems which created strong lines and did accentuate them in post. If you want to learn more about the technique, you should check out the video link in the post. Art and Denise create some stunning images.

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