Peter Cairns • Intentional Camera Movement

As the name suggests, ICM involves creating abstract imagery by intentionally moving the camera during the exposure. In other words, deliberately blurring your images. Peter Cairns explains

I like a bit of dragging. Oooh yes, deep in the forest is normally a good place, just when the light is fading. I’m partial to a bit of wiggling too. Down on the beach on a flat light day, you can’t beat a good wiggle. It’s great fun and last time I looked, completely legal. I learnt to drag and wiggle many years ago when running landscape photography tours. If truth be told, dragging and wiggling initially stemmed from a bit of desperation. When the light is ostensibly lifeless it can be tough convincing tour guests that effective imagery can still be produced. Fifteen years on and it’s rare that our tours don’t include a bit of drag and wiggle.

I understand from those who walk the corridors of photographic power that these days, dragging and wiggling is referred to as ‘ICM’ or Intentional Camera Movement. Whilst in my view, ICM hasn’t got quite the same ring to it; we better toe the official line here.

There are lots of ways to create ICM, including in post-processing, but to my mind it’s much more stimulating outside in the elements with camera in hand.

So, what is ICM? As the name suggests it involves creating abstract imagery by intentionally moving the camera during the exposure. In other words ...

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About Author

Peter Cairns

Based in the heart of the Cairngorms, Peter Cairns is an award-winning nature photographer with over 10 years’ professional experience under his belt. He is a founding director of The Wild Media Foundation, the social enterprise behind the 2020VISION multimedia project.

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