Motivation is a photography blog that discusses the creative aspects of photography. The posts will include thoughts about images and their interpretation, photographers and their work, technique, workflow, my ongoing projects, and perhaps even the occasional off topic rant.

Paint It Red

Why paint it black when autumn is here and you can paint it red?

I was recently in West Virginia’s Blackwater Falls State Park when I saw a small grove of trees whose leaves had turned a fiery red and felt that an abstract generated by intentional camera movement (so-called ICM) would transmit the feeling of the changing season better than a ‘straight shot’. Of the twenty or so images that I took this was by far my favorite.

Paint It Red © Howard Grill

Paint It Red © Howard Grill


Intentional camera movement can be very ‘hit or miss’, meaning that it is difficult to predict what the results will look like because there are so many variables involved, from shutter speed to the speed and angle at which you move your camera. It can also be hard to tell if the result is what you’re after just from looking at the small LCD. For these reasons, when trying the technique, is it always wise to take a series of photos to choose from.

Interestingly, it was at this location that a young woman came up to me asking for some photographic advice. But that will be the subject of the next post.