In the days of film, there was always a great sense of anticipation and surprise (or disappointment) when you processed and printed your negatives. The instantaneous visual result that comes with digital photography, via the LCD display, often takes the surprise element out of the equation regarding image making. I guess its a reflection of the society we live in, the desire and need for instant results.
There are certain techniques in digital photography that in some way produce visual results that are both surprising and unpredictable. One of my favourite shooting modes is extended exposures (slow shutter speeds), usually drawn upon in low-light situations such as concerts and nightscapes. Having an extended exposure duration (anything longer than 1/2 second is a long time in photography) can give you a chance to experiment with other aspects of your lens zoom functions. To be honest, I don't know what the technique is called but it involves pulling/pushing the zoom ring on your lens during the exposure period. I usually refer to it as 'lens-zoom', please correct me if you know the appropriate terminology.
The above shot, taken this evening as the sun was setting near my home, is an example of the technique. Don't be misled here, there are a multitude of possible results depending on camera settings, the zoom range and the speed at which you push/pull the zoom ring. This is a fun way to explore the abstract and energetic visual possibilities of digital photography and it does have serious applications, especially when combined with fill-flash. If you are thinking of attending one of my Digital SLR Photography classes in the future, you will learn all about this ... guaranteed!
Photo: 'Warp Speed' - Looking through trees at sunset. I was too late for the shot I intended to take so used the time to experiment with the available light. At sunset (when you arrive late) you're working in seconds, not minutes or hours, the light changes very, very fast! I shot about 10 frames on this occasion, some pushing, others pulling on the zoom ring and varying the shutter speed. Fun for all of two minutes. In the end, I settled on this shot, blown highlights and all. Will be better when I plan it in the future. Try it and lets see how ye get on.
ISO 200. 1 second @ f/2.8. Zoom ring pushed (from 55mm position to 17mm position during exposure). The image was processed in ARC without alteration. Star Wars: I love you still!