Mistakes in the Woods

IMG_8726When I have time…or get bored…or distracted….or maybe have a deadline that I want to ignore….I’ll sometimes head out on my mountain bike with my camera. Recently we had a beautiful fall day and I did just that.

The trees were a combination of green and yellow, and the trails were a golden pathway leading through the woods. I truly love photographing action when Mountain Biking, but being alone ruled that out. I started thinking about the various ways to introduce motion into a photograph with stationary subjects. Exciting motion photographs come down to one of three situations:


  • The subject is moving.
  • The camera is moving.
  • They are both moving.


Since it’s pretty difficult to photograph myself while I am riding, I had to settle for having the camera move. I have played around with a longer shutter speed and zooming before, but wanted to try and add a little something more. Something that might be a little more identifiable.

This kind of experimentation really lends itself to digital. With film, you’d have to shoot a roll, and then wait a few hours to see what you got. Then, you may or may not remember what you did exactly to be able to reproduce anything that you got that was acceptable. Being able to see the image immediately allows you to build upon small successes as you go.

As any photographer can tell you, a lot of successful images are actually failures that turned out better than expected. Such is the case with this shot. I was kneeling on the ground next to my bike (that was propped up against a tree), and trying to introduce some motion into the image by zooming while I rotated the camera. Normally when doing this, I really try and keep the camera rotating around the middle of the lens….but this time, I was a little off balance and ended up rotating the camera around on point that is very close to the middle of my front tire. This left the tire almost intact (and very identifiable), but allowed the rest of the frame the movement (blur) that I was looking for.

Here is an example of doing exactly what I wanted:

IMG_8728 In the end, I liked both images…..but the mistake of rotating around a point off center of the middle of the lens allowed the tire and wheel to by much more sharp and identifiable, which in turn, makes it a more interesting image.


Thanx for listening!


6 thoughts on “Mistakes in the Woods

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