HOW TO: Speedy Abstracts


Last weekend we were out for a drive in the countryside on a beautiful Autumn afternoon. My wife was driving and I decided to get creative with my camera as we whizzed through the woods.

I set up the lens with a mid range aperture and the camera with a slow shutter speed. In this case it was f8 and 1/25th of a second. As we drove through the woods I pointed the camera out the passenger window towards the scenery that was zipping by. I was attempting to capture the various colors of leaves as they began to change colors, but in an abstract way.

Photography from a moving car, whether it is daytime or nighttime, offers endless possibilities for creativity.



ISO 200

cloudy WB

  1. October 16, 2013 at 2:36 pm

    Nice! Cue the music from the streaming lights sequence from 2001: A Space Odyssey.

    • October 16, 2013 at 2:50 pm

      That might just work…hmmm that gives me an idea…more light painting!

  2. October 16, 2013 at 2:37 pm

    Ok now this is cool! Must try it.

    • October 16, 2013 at 2:52 pm

      And it’s so easy to do…and fun ’cause you see the results instantly! I rotated this one in Photoshop 3 degrees counter-clockwise to add some interest.

  3. October 16, 2013 at 2:48 pm

    I loved it dear David, Thanks and Love, nia

  4. October 16, 2013 at 2:53 pm

    Thanks Nia, I know you have done this before at night time. I haven’t done that in awhile but will soon!

  5. October 16, 2013 at 3:42 pm

    Very cool, David! I really like how even the streaks of colors are. Nice work!

    • October 16, 2013 at 4:36 pm

      Thanks Gracie, I think the evenness was due to us zipping down the road at 60 mph! Timing for the good sections of trees and a splash of color was mostly luck. It was all trial and error…but it is fun! I want to go at it again now that the trees are changing color more. The results should be pretty cool.

  6. October 16, 2013 at 9:05 pm

    Oh yah, we are on the same page on this little fun project! Autumn must bring it out in us- nice one!

    • October 17, 2013 at 2:10 pm

      I KNOW you’re right…all that color everywhere…It is a fun exercise and so easy to do…provided someone else is driving of course!

  7. October 18, 2013 at 5:20 am

    I love it! Must give it a try.

    • October 18, 2013 at 1:46 pm

      Oh good! It’s so easy, and fun to boot. I even tried as we were going through town. You’ll get all kinds of interesting patterns and color streaks.

  8. October 18, 2013 at 3:19 pm

    Lovely! Watch out for your camera and the lens while you’re poking it out of the window! 🙂

    • October 21, 2013 at 9:04 am

      Thanks Jo, Absolutely! It’s probably the only time I actually use the camera strap. I have a shortened version that I can wrap around my wrist when in precarious positions…like hanging the camera out the car window! Actually though, most of the camera is still inside the car…I would really hate to drop it.

  9. October 19, 2013 at 2:53 pm

    I never get it right 🙂

    • October 21, 2013 at 9:06 am

      Awwww, I don’t always get it right either but you just have to keep trying. Be sure to put the camera in manual mode so you can control the settings…and then fire away!!!

  10. October 21, 2013 at 7:46 pm

    Great idea David. I’m going to have to try that some time.

    • October 22, 2013 at 1:33 pm

      Betcha once you start you won’t be able to stop! The same thing will occur when you focus on a stationary object or forest or whatever else is in front of the lens and zoom with a slow shutter…then try zooming and rotating the camera or zooming and rotating yourself. The resulting abstracts are way cool! Have fun!

      • October 22, 2013 at 6:27 pm

        You know it! I’ve already played around with zooming and camera movement during exposure. There were a lot of failures, but when it did work, it really worked!

        I really like creating an image that isn’t immediately recognizable as a photograph, yet was still created in-camera and not some Photoshop trick.

  11. October 28, 2013 at 5:23 am

    Great shot, David. 🙂

    If I’m not wrong, I think you had taken a similar shot last autumn (or last to last) as well. Those tress were more on the yellow side. If possible, share the link to that pic.

  12. October 28, 2013 at 3:24 pm
  13. October 29, 2013 at 8:02 pm

    Cool shot!

    • October 31, 2013 at 12:12 pm

      thanks Fergie…I love to play around like this…the results are surprising…both good and bad. I rotated this shot about 5 degrees to add a bit of interest.

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