Sunday, December 11, 2011

The Jiggle...

I wanted something a bit different tonight for family Christmas pictures so I pulled a fun and dynamic technique out of my book of tricks - "the jiggle". I know what you're thinking, "just what exactly is 'the jiggle'"? Well, read on and find out.

The family Christmas shoot had been scheduled for weeks. I knew how I was going to shoot and after debating a number of different outdoor locations, I made my final choice the night before. The only thing missing was a lovely bit of snow but Mother Nature came through and delivered fresh snow throughout the day and during the shoot. It makes for great pictures but it's not so great for handling the equipment and the cold temperature made for some pretty sore hands. I'm not complaining, I'm just saying.

Anyhow, about "the jiggle". It's a pretty simple technique. Slow shutter speed, plus flash, plug camera movement adds up to a dynamic, unique look. The "jiggle" part creates the blurred effect on the ambient light in the shot and flash keeps our subject sharp. It starts by finding the desired camera settings to expose the ambient light to your liking while keeping your shutter speed between about .25 and 1 second - your "jiggle" time. Once you have your settings dialed in, set your flash output to match your aperture and you're ready to start jiggling. The rest is simple - frame and focus your subject, press the shutter (the flash fires) and before the exposure ends you give the camera a little jiggle. Easy peasy.

It may take a bit of practice to get it right but the results can be pretty cool. Give it a try.

Keep shooting.

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