Fine Art Photography: Express Your Vision With In-Camera Effects | Maureen Eggleton | Skillshare

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Fine Art Photography: Express Your Vision With In-Camera Effects

teacher avatar Maureen Eggleton, Portrait and Fine Art Photographer

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.

      Class Introduction


    • 2.

      Project And Class Orientation


    • 3.

      Creative Process: Building Your Vision


    • 4.

      Frozen Motion


    • 5.

      Motion Blur: Long Exposure Technique


    • 6.

      Out Of Focus


    • 7.



    • 8.

      Blur: Intentional Camera Movement Technique


    • 9.

      Enhance Your Photos


    • 10.

      Last Thoughts


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About This Class

If you love photography but feel bored or stuck in your process of creating meaningful and artistic images, then this class is for you!

Let's unleash the artist inside of you!

Photographers can also be artists, but sometimes they forget or are afraid to take risks and artistic license with their work, preventing them from expressing their unique views. So, in this class, we will embrace the artist inside, take full advantage of our camera settings and lens, and intentionally break some photography rules to express our vision with In-Camera effects. 

The more you practice, the easy it will be for you to create these effects on the go. This skill will become part of your photography tool kit that will allow you to create unique creative photos for yourself and why not for future clients.

What You Will Learn:

I have broken down this class to walk you through all my workflow so that you can emulate it or get inspired to build your creative system!

The first lesson covers: 

  • Step by step, how you can get inspired to construct a story vision all the way to how to merge it with in-camera effects

The rest of the lessons focus on two central teachings:

  1. Provide examples of how I merged a specific In-Camera effect with my vision to help tell a story or emotion. 
  2. How to achieve a specific in-camera effect. You'll learn how to bend reality with your camera settings and lens. I have selected 5 of my fav effects for you to try out. They are:
  1. Frozen motion.
  2. Motion blur (long exposure technique).
  3. Zoom.
  4. Out of focus.
  5. Motion blur with the  Intentional Camera Movement technique.

Is this class for me?

This class is for anyone who feels stuck or bored with photography. If you're someone who can take technically good photos that just don't move you, this class will help you reconnect with your inner voice while also adding dynamism to your images.

Even the beginner is welcome here; this class will inspire you on how you can achieve meaningful work while learning about camera fundamentals so that you can start creating right away. 

By the end of this class, you will have a comprehensive idea of merging inspiration, storytelling, and taking advantage of your camera settings and lens, as if you were using different brushes, to create artistic work without relying on photoshop. 


The basic equipment you will need is:

  • Digital camera.
  • A tripod or a base to hold your camera
  • and any editing software to enhance your photos, i.e. ( Google photos, LightRoom, VSCO, Snap seed). You get the idea.

For more advanced In-camera effects, you will need

  • Zoom lens (for the zoom effect) 
  • A lens with a focus ring, or a phone's camera (both for the out-of-focus effect). 

I have included a PDF with other options in the resources section if you don't have this equipment.

Lastly, it would be good to have:

  • Black or gray background/backdrop or dark bed sheets or fabric (for the motion blur)
  • A Shiny/reflective object (for the motion blur)
  • A constant light. It can be a house lamp (for the motion blur)


  1. Download the workbook and resources manual I have created for you, as it summarizes all the fundamental concepts of each technical lesson. These resources will allow you to immerse yourself in the videos and then have the workbook handy as a guide when working on your project. 

The resources I have included are.

  • A list of all the equipment I used for each in-camera effect
  • Alternatives in case you don't have the gear I used.
  • A section to write your camera settings while you are experimenting or any notes about your process.

Dont worry if you don't have all the equipment I am listing. I encourage you to watch the lessons, get inspired to experiment and find ways to achieve in-camera effects with whatever you have available. There are always options to create, just as I did when creating my self-portrait Elena, which was published in photo vogue Italy.

You are all set! I can't wait to see what you create!

Intro Music

Downtown Glow by Ghostrifter & Devyzed
Creative Commons — Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported — CC BY-ND 3.0
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Meet Your Teacher

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Maureen Eggleton

Portrait and Fine Art Photographer


Hi everyone, I'm Maureen, a Portrait and Fine Art photographer.

I'm Mexican-American, now living in Tokyo. I have worked with models and agencies in Tokyo, Shanghai, Mexico City, and Los Angeles, and my work has been published in editorials like Photo Vogue Italy and Photo Nostrum Barcelona.


In my past life (when I was living in Mexico City) I ran one of the best model agencies, which I loved because I learned a lot about the modeling and fashion industry, but my love for photography has been with me since I was six years old so I decided to dedicate my life to my craft. 

I'm all things art, photography, creative wellness, and nature connection practices.

Random fact: 99.9% of the people I have met think I am French. Can you guess why?

... See full profile

Level: Intermediate

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1. Class Introduction: A lot of photography these days bore me. It seems like some photographers forgot that they too are artists. They're afraid to take risk and artistic license with their work. A camera is a tool like any other and when you understand its settings you're able to take your vision and shoot intentionally. Hi, my name is Maureen, I am a portrait and fine art photographer. With my work, I want to give people a safe space for introspection and vulnerability, to spike the courage to draw their inner voice. One of the inspiration for this class is myself portrait, Cololina. This photo was published in photo Vogue Italy and I created it in my mom's bathroom with whatever I have available. The success of this photo didn't rely entirely on what gear I had to create but rather on my knowledge of in-camera effects, my vision, and my recipe for constructing the story I wanted to tell. In this class we'll begin by having a brief conversation about how to get inspired, how do curiosity and willingness to be vulnerable can help you come up with a unique story vision. Then in each lesson you will learn how to experiment and bend reality with in-camera effects. For this, I have selected five of my favorite for you to try out. They are, frozen motion, blur, zoom, out of focus, and ICM. For your class project you will choose one in-camera effect that you think fits your vision and experiment with it. Your goal is not to take a "beautiful or technically perfect photo". Sometimes a compelling photo is just ugly or even dark but meaningful to you and hopefully to others. This class is for anyone who feels a stock or bored with photography. If you are someone who can take good photos that just don't move you, this class will help you reconnect with your inner voice while also adding dynamism to your images. Even the beginner is welcome here. This class will provide you with inspiration on how you can achieve meaningful work while learning about camera fundamentals so that you can start creating right away. By the end of it you will have a comprehensive idea of how to merge inspiration, a storytelling, and how to take advantage of your camera settings and lens as if you were using different brushes to create artistic work without needing to rely on Photoshop. Know that you have the responsibility as an artist to bring what's within you. This is part of your legacy so let's get vulnerable. 2. Project And Class Orientation: [MUSIC] Welcome to the class. Our goal for your class project is to choose one in-camera effect that you think can help communicate your story vision or emotion and experiment with it. Then I invite you to share your result or results in the project gallery section. I will be more than happy to provide you with constructive feedback. But before jumping in to start grading, I would like to give you some recommendations. Start with the right mindset. There is absolutely no need to take a beautiful or technically perfect photo. This is about experimenting, practicing, and discovering a new way to express yourself. When you're trying to achieve an in-camera effect, focus on playing and experiment it with your camera settings and lens. The more you practice, the easy it will be for you to create these effects on the go. This skill will become part of your photography toolkit that will allow you to create unique creative photos for you and why not for future clients. For the sections where you work on constructing meaningful story vision, think of this part of the process as a creative self-care practice in which you will share what's within you, what matters to you. This ritual helps me relax and gets me into the state of flow to deeply connect with my inner voice to create meaningful images. I highly recommend it for you. To support you in creating your project, I have broken down this class in a way that walks you through all my workflow so that you can emulate it or get inspired to build your own creative system. The first lesson covers a step-by-step how to get inspired and construct a story vision all the way to how to merge it with in-camera effects. The rest of the lessons focus on two central teachings : how to achieve a specific in-camera effect and provide examples of how I merge this effect with my vision to help tell the story or emotion. This class is packed with tons of actionable information. To help you point gain overwhelmed, I got to covered. I recommend first downloading the workbook and resources manual I have created for you as it contains a summary of all the fundamental concepts of each lesson. This will allow you to immerse yourself in the videos and then have the workbook handy as a guide when you are working on your project. Other resources I have included are a list of all the equipment I use for each in-camera effect, resources and alternatives in case you don't have the gear I used, an ISO, aperture, and shutter speed chart, and a section to write your camera settings while you are experimenting or any notes about your process. The basic equipment you will need is a DSLR camera, a tripod or a vase to hold your camera, and any editing software to enhance your photos. For more advanced in-camera effects, you will need a zoom lens for the zoom effect and a mobile phone for the out-of-focus effect in case you can do this with your DSLR camera or your lenses. If you don't have some of these, I have included a PDF with options in the resources section. Lastly, it will be good to have a black background or dark bed sheet or fabric for the motion blur effect, a shiny the object and a constant light. It can be a house lamp as well for the motion blur effect. Don't worry if you don't have all the equipment I am listing. I encourage you to watch the lessons, get inspired to experiment, and why not find ways to achieve in-camera effects with whatever you have available. There are always options to create just as I did when creating myself portrait Elena which was published in PhotoVogue, Italy. You are all set. I'll see you in the next lesson. [MUSIC] 3. Creative Process: Building Your Vision: While this class is about how to express yourself with in-camera effects, it would be helpful to focus first on learning how to integrate them into the concept of your images. The goal is that these effect help communicate your story or emotion. But to achieve this, I will first show you my creative process to develop a story or a scene. A three-steps process that I found is quite relaxing, fun, and insightful. It could even become a creative self-create practice. In a nutshell, we will talk about how to create your inspiration vault so that you get inspired, determine what topics or themes you're interested in expressing with your photography, and the process to construct your story based on your favorite topics and merge it with an in-camera effect. This process comes in handy, especially if you have the creator's block. You feel overwhelmed and discouraged because you have no idea what to create. Your mind goes blank. But that's okay, it happens to all creators. We just need to get inspired and apply some techniques to ignite the creative engine. Let's start. One habit that I have developed to nurture my creativity is collecting anything that brings joy and [inaudible] my interests. I keep these resources into what I call my inspiration vault or hub. For example, my sources of inspiration are painters from the Renaissance, music, lyrics, movies, books, and my life experiences. Mutually, everything can be a source of inspiration. You can start creating your inspiration vault right away. Having a folder in your computer or in the Cloud in which you can keep references of the things that interested you, that move you, would do the trick. I encourage you to create your inspiration hub as soon as possible because instead of going out with your camera with no idea about what story to tell, which can be very discouraging, having references of the things you love would relax your mind and stimulate your creativity and spark ideas for your projects. Exposing ourselves to different artists, techniques, and life experiences is valuable. You will have a universe of options to pull from your inspiration vault and mix them so that you can develop a unique perspective. I like to think that the creators of those resources are my mentors and their influence on my creativity will inform my work. The next step is to find out the overall themes or topics you're interested in exploring and developing in your photography. For example, my topics are silence, melancholy, nature, vulnerability, intimacy, and femininity. Nailing this is important because as the core message in your image, they could become your voice and communicate what you stand up for to your audience. How can you find yours? We can discover them by digging into our interests and interviewing ourselves. This is what I would love for you to try. If possible, find a place where you can be alone. Look at your inspiration vault and also look at your photos and remember stories with your friends and family that were unique. Be curious about what you have collected. Try not to judge yourself. Focus on observing and absorbing. Immerse yourself in contemplation. Then grab a paper and pen and start by interviewing yourself. You can use the following prompts as a guide or create yours. I will add these into their resources section if you need them. If I were to die tomorrow, what could I be passionate to speak about? What activities have brought me the most joy or made me feel alive throughout my life? What do I feel when I see the works of the artists I admire? What words from songs that I love resonate with me a lot? What are the hobbies or habits that make me feel alive? Be thorough and underline the words that move you, those that resonate the most and spark a passion for creation. For me, Sandro Botticelli works trigger the words femininity. That has become one of my favorite themes and topics of interest. This exercise is for you to explore your inner cosmos. It is as limitless as you want it to be. If you feel uncomfortable by being vulnerable, that's great. You will have to get to know yourself even better. For example, when I was working on my break father, I explored his last days before passing away. I was nervous because looking at the past and exposing it can be very painful. However, I knew that [inaudible] and letting myself be vulnerable will help me understand him better and have a deeper connection. That openness allowed me to create something beautiful and spiritual that came straight out of my true self. Vulnerability is not to be feared. We can embrace it to create more meaningful work and connect deeply with ourselves and with others. We have created the inspiration vault and found out the topics to develop in your photography. Now what? Well, the next step is constructing your story vision based on one or two themes and adding in-camera effects to help tell your story. Now, choose one of your favorite themes and topics and ask yourself, what story do I see? Take your time and imagine a scene then describe it. Be very detailed. Think about this object, location, wardrobe, props, everything to bring your vision story alive. Here's an example. Theme, Femininity and Movement. A storytelling or a story vision, a woman is sitting quietly. She's in a dark place but surrounded by warm light. There is a sense of peace, serenity, and femininity. I can see her hair. It is messy, wild, and free. She has beautiful flowers hanging on her back. She seems confident on her naked skin, dancing carefree, enjoying her time. As you can see, I describe a scene as if I were telling it to a friend. I am not trying to write a book, only imagining what is happening there. I'm being very detailed. The goal is to have a clear idea of what we want to express. If you struggle to tell stories, follow these storytelling elements questions as your guide to develop it. Three elements will be enough to construct the story. I will just start by describing first the subject. For example, Who? A woman is sitting quietly. What? She's in the dark, but there is also a warm light surrounding her. It looks as if her body was moving. She wears flowers, they're hanging on her back. Where? It could be her bedroom or bathroom. Remember, the audience does not need to know why this object is in that situation or the end of the story. Let them wonder and guess how it ended. That will create engagement. To finish constructing the story, we have to think about what elements will help us tell it. In other words, what in-camera effects and symbols will be applied to give my audience hints about what a story or scene is about. You may have already written them intuitively in your story vision, that's perfect. But let's make sure that those elements communicate something. Let's talk about these elements. A symbol can be an object that serves as a prop or element in the image, but also signifies something beyond its word meaning, which adds a layer to communication to your story. For Alina, I use flowers as a sign of feminity and purity. In-camera effects are distortions of reality created by playing with combinations of your camera settings and lens. The takeaway is to be mindful of why they will be in your image. Make sure that the effect you choose communicate something in the story rather than selecting it only because it looks cool. Always think about how you want yourself and your audience to feel. Do you want your viewer to feel movement by applying motion blur for example? For Alina, I used motion blur with a long exposure technique to represent a soft motion of Alina's body. With this effect, I hope that the viewer experience a sense of movement in Alina's body instead of looking on a still image. I want to transport my audience to a dynamic live scene. Throughout this class I will show you more examples of my work and other artists who express their vision with in-camera effects to help you get inspired. A complete story vision which includes symbols and in-camera effects looks like this. Now you have a clear vision, the only step left is to complete a sketch in your story vision to have a visual map of your scene. Note that there are other types of photography, like abstract. In these, you can integrate in-camera effects without telling a story. In this case, the idea is to express an emotion so its creation process is different from creating a story. Wow, this was a long creative unit. I hope you enjoyed as much as I did. Remember, this is only how I merge a story vision with in-camera effects. I invite you to take this as a guide to create your own system to create images you love. Thank you. See you in the next lesson. [MUSIC] 4. Frozen Motion: [MUSIC] Frozen motion is the fact that allow us to see something that is moving completely frozen in time. What I like about this effect is that it helps us see all the details of the action that is unfolding. Let's take a look at how this effect can be applied to convey a story or to express an emotion. The story of this photo was inspired by the song Cry Me A River. Even though that phrase is a title of a pop song, I found it quite interesting to explore and to create an image that will represent a heartbreak and all the feelings that comes with it. For example, sadness, frustration, regret, and so on. This is a scene in which we don't know who the subject is, why she's wearing a fancy jumper during the day and when she ended up in shower outdoors, we have no idea. However, if we look at the body language, we can tell she's perhaps sad, angry. We can tell something is definitely not okay, and that is intriguing. Not knowing what's happening in the scene is absolutely fine. It will make your audience wonder and guess how the story goes or ends. What I recommend is when you shoot, shoot with the intention of expressing a specific emotion. For example, if you look at this photo, even though it's from the same photoshoot, her expression and body language is completely different, and therefore, the story changes. This could represent a story about something good, for example, celebration sometimes or even euphoria. To help convey this sad story, I apply the frozen motion effect to make the drops of water look sharp and crisp as a metaphor to represent something that can be painful. For instance, small rocks or bullets hitting your body. The opposite of these will have been applying motion blur to make the water looks softer and gentler, conveying a completely different emotion. For instance, melancholy. Elements or symbols. Other elements or symbols used to communicate the story are the fancy jumper she's wearing and the wedding ring, as they provide clues about what's going on in the story. In this case, I selected a party or a cocktail wardrobe that is designed to be worn during the night in a party or a cocktail so the audience can speculate the possible scenarios. For example, perhaps she was in dinner or party and didn't came back home. Lastly, the water itself represents emotions flowing. Here are other wonderful examples from different photographers. Photographer, Neal Grundy, and I hope I'm pronouncing it well, created these awesome series of images named transient sculptures. These idealistic series were made by freezing pieces of fabric in mid flight, making this look like, as the name indicates, as sculptures. Although these photographs do not tell a story itself, they for sure transmit emotions. For me, it is calm and a sense of gravity. Other very good examples are from the photographer, Natsumi Hayashi. She photographs levitation self-portraits, and transforms usually scenarios into very interesting stories. This is a creative prompt for you. What scenario and subject would you apply them frozen motion technique to convey madness? Think about it. Now, let's talk about the technical aspects. How can you achieve this effect? The first thing I do when I'm ready to shoot is to stop for a moment and ask myself, why do I need to do with my exposure settings to achieve a certain effect? In this case, I know that I want to freeze motion. For that, I need to focus on shutter speed. Shutter speed allows us to do two things. First, to choose for how long the camera sensor will be exposed to light. Second, it also helps us freeze motion, which is what we're looking for in this lesson. Or it can also help us create motion blur. To freeze motion, you need to choose a shutter speed value of at least 1/250 of a second and above. The exact shutter speed value will depend on how fast your subject is moving. For instance, if it's a person walking normally versus freezing water drops. Now let's shoot. Once you have your camera ready, start by testing fast shutter speed in comparison with the subject in motion. In this case, I started testing my shutter speeds against the water drops. Then see the difference in each one of your test shots and choose the one that freezes the subject successfully. I am honestly not a technical person, so I always bring a cheat sheet with me to review my options and my triangle of exposure if I need it. Keep in mind that I shot on a very sunny day, which allowed me to shoot at a very high shutter speed of 1/1600 of a second, and with a large depth of field without needing any flash or strobe to compensate for light. If you are shooting indoors, you will probably need a flash or strobe that will give you the burst of light needed to shoot fast and freeze the motion. After reviewing all my shots, I realize I will have tried a faster shutter speed because even though I really loved the results, I notice some of the drops were not as crisp and sharp as I want it to be. It is definitely not a big deal, but these are things to consider right there while you're shooting. The creative prompts are for you to start using your imagination and to brainstorm at home. Also remember that you can share your project on the project section and get constructive feedback from me and from your fellow students. This is it for this lesson. I will see you in the next one. Bye. [MUSIC] 5. Motion Blur: Long Exposure Technique: Motion blur is the striking effect recorded when your subject or your camera moves during an exposure. As a brief reminder, exposure is the amount of light that reaches your camera sensor or film. It is determined by how you set your shutter speed, the aperture, and the ISO numbers. From all the motion blur effect types, this is by far my favorite because this technique has allowed me to create beautiful editorial work by simply using lamps that I found in my house or a small constant lights. You will see how easy is to create motion blur with this technique at home. Let's talk about the creative part of the photo shoot first so that you can start thinking about ideas to compare an emotion or a story with this effect. The motion blur created with the long exposure technique gives me the feeling of something ethereal. It reminds me of the passing of the time. It could also be energy that is leaving our bodies, whispers or why not sound waves flowing around us? To give you more context, let's explore the creative details behind this image. Inspiration, this is one of the images inspired by the teachings of the British Philosopher Allan Watts. The storytelling, the [inaudible] a story about letting go on many levels: let go of the past, let go of old beliefs, and observe them as they go. The subject is in solitude; her mind is in a quiet place. She absorbs her past and let it go so that she can live here in the present moment. The effect is motion blur made with a long exposure technique to create a light trail. The light trail represents the energy of old beliefs, past lives, and pain leaving the body, the mind, and the soul. The symbols used are the dark place to represent the quiet mind and the solitude. I have shared with you some of the representations that a motion blur can convey in an image but this is by no means an extensive list. I have another creative prompt for you. I'm very curious to know what emotion or story would you convey by applying motion blur with the long exposure technique. As in our previous lessons, let's now talk about how to create this effect. The first thing, the most important thing is to select a place where you can shoot in the dark. Either is a dark room where you can close all the shades, or maybe you can shoot at night. We need this type of light controlled set so that the light trail effect can be seen perfectly, otherwise if you have more light around, more ambient light, you will not be able to see the motion blur effect on the trail the way we want to see it. Remember a dark room or shooting at night. Also for the examples I'm going to show you, I used the following equipment. A tripod or something that holds your camera, it could be a stack of books or a table, a dark backdrop; for this effect, the darker the backdrop, the better. I have used black and brown fabric that works. Bed sheets or even a dark wall works perfectly fine. As long as it is dark, you are good to go. I also used a constant light, which means a source of light that is constantly providing light, it could be, for example a LED lamp or lamp that you can find in your home. I used this small LED lamp. Nothing fancy that totally works. Of course, you will need a person to shoot. I mostly do self portraits, so that person can totally be you. If that is the case, I recommend getting remote control. I have them, this helps me work easier. I do not have to set my timer and run to the scene and go back and forth. Also you will need a shiny object to reflect the light and create the light trail. For example, I use this shoe. Literally this is what you need, something that reflects the light. Once you have all of the equipment and the room or the set ready, then it's time to define where you're going to place your constant light. I placed my constant light around 45 degrees in front of me. The light was facing me from above. I was making sure that the light was hitting my face and the shiny shoe to really create that trail of light. Let's talk about a little bit about your settings. In the previous lesson, we talked about frozen motion, which you can achieve by selecting a shutter speed from 1 over 250 and above. For this lesson, we're going to do the opposite. We will again read first and foremost on shutter speed settings. But this time, the key is to choose a very slow shutter speed and then balance aperture and ISO accordingly. In other words, we will work with a long exposure technique. Remember that when you select a slow shutter speed, more light will hit the sensor, which means you could get an overexposed image. To fix that, compensate by selecting a bigger aperture number, and select a low ISO, for example, 100th. Now to create motion blur, something has to move. It could be the camera or the object that you are shooting. When I was creating this concept, the idea was to create a trail of light, and also trails of light that will reflect my face and body in different angles, which means I will need to experiment by moving at different paces and posing in different ways where I was holding the shiny shoes. I will have to do this over and over until I got the shot that really will convey the idea of letting go. For this shot, my shutter speed was five seconds, aperture was 22, and ISO was 100. You can start with similar settings just taking consideration that your settings will change because you're shooting in a different condition. Once you have defined your preliminary settings, start measuring the speed you are moving against your shutter speed. Practice, practice, practice until you get the perfect combination of settings and the way and the speed you should move to get the result you want. I hopped you have enjoyed this lesson as much as I did. Don't forget to share your project in the project session. I will be more than happy to provide you with constructive feedback. Thank you very much and see you in the next lesson. [MUSIC] 6. Out Of Focus: [MUSIC] How many times have you heard that your photos should be focused and sharp? I am guessing pretty much always. But for this lesson, I want to invite you to think differently. To think that what may be a pinpoint for a lot of photographers could also be another tool to express your creativity. I'm talking about great images that are completely out of focus, but intentionally, you see photography is a median of expression, and as such, there are situations when the technique is not right or wrong. It is just another way to get a specific result and while getting sharp focus images is in general a good practice to get amazing photos. There are times when the opposite is true. Just for the purpose of this lesson, I give you permission to grade out-of-focus images, so let's dive in. These are some examples of how I have used this technique to create images that represent memories I have with friends, dreams, and fictional stories. When I close my eyes, the images are not focused or clear. That's why I love this technique, so that my viewer can be transported into my own experience. Is like giving them access to the most personal parts of my mind. This image, for example, is inspired in the story of my father. The way I remember him, and what I think he was imagining at the time he was passing away. Storytelling, the scene conveys a story about a lonely man who loved to spend time in the sea. It was his sacred place. The subject is in solute of contemplating the beauty of nature and preparing himself to transcend. This is his last memory, or perhaps his dream. Effects, out-of-focus technique to make the viewer have similar emotions of what the subject may have experienced. It could be a memory or a dream. The symbols used, water as a symbol of the subconscious mind provocation before passing away and transformation. Light as a symbol of life in the afterlife and guidance. Here are other examples of out-of-focus images from the artist Bill Armstrong. These images are part of his work called The Infinity series. His technique is to do collages and take photos out of this. When he does is photocopying, cutting, and painting over images, and then retakes these as out-of-focus photographs. As you can see, you can create out-of-focus images by taking photos of collages or why not? For instance, take photos of a design you made in Photoshop to create something completely new. Before continuing with the technical part, let's check out the next creative prompt. After you finish this lesson, go ahead and take a walk with your camera around your neighborhood or a place that you love, observe the surroundings. Do not rush, take the time to absorb everything you see and then choose a scene that you would like to see as a dream or as a distant memory by applying the out-of-focus technique. Now, it is time to dive into how to create these effects. As far as the location you can shoot at anytime of the day, outdoors or indoors, that is up to you, regardless of where you choose to shoot, my suggestion is that you will start with a simple story, perhaps a scene with one person, so that you can start feeling how the out-of-focus work and build from it. To create this effect, you will need to switch your camera focus to manual mode. This means using the focus ring in your camera. Otherwise you're out-of-focus settings will attempt to focus somewhere else. If you don't have a focus ring, perhaps you can use your cell phone and switch your focus to manual mode as well. For this effect, we need to work on the f-stops of the lens. That means to prepare your camera to shoot with the smallest upper two number you have available. This is to limit the depth of field and to create a bucket style. For instance, my smallest upper two number is 2.8 and as always, remember to set up your camera with the right exposure. In this case, adjusting your ISO and shutter accordingly. For instance, I shot on a sunny day outdoors with natural light, so I just took my camera to ISO of 100th. Shutter a speed of one over 600th to avoid motion blur and to reduce the amount of light. My lens where 50 meter lens. Once you're ready to shoot, if you are working with a DSLR camera in manual mode, move the focus ring to focus first on infinity, and then move it back and forth many times until you get the right amount of work. What I mean is to find an out-of-focus image that is still has some shape, so that your viewer can identify the elements. Otherwise, if you overdo the effect, it will make the image abstract, which you can definitely use for other photography breaks, both for the purpose of this lesson, let's focus, no pun intended, on getting a nice out-of-focus image. Also, you may need to play with the distance between the subject and the background, and if you have a zoom lens or other lens, experiment with them as well as all these variables can change the way the effect looks. Last but not least, if you are using your cell phone, look for a way to set the focus in manual mode and move this later, also back and forth many times until you get the best result. This is a image I showed you in the creative example, and this is a result of something similar done in the park. This is how you can get amazing out-of-focus images. This is it for this lesson. If you have any questions, feel free to post them in the discussion section, I will be more than happy to reply. [MUSIC] 7. Zoom: [MUSIC] In this lesson, I'm going to show you an effect that doesn't seem to be very famous yet it is super fun to play with it. It is the Zoom effect. I usually see this effect applied in night photography or a sports photography. For night photography, the effect creates an incredibly lighted environment, almost as if we were surrounded by shooting stars or laser beams, creating a futuristic atmosphere. For sports, it adds dynamism and energy to the action. For instance, in this image, I applied the effect to symbolize the force and energy emanating from the subject while he was boxing. But also, if you're more on the side of fine art, fashion, or artistic photography, you can absolutely apply this effect to any of your concepts as a way to add drama or symbology to your narrative, or simply as a way to add your own style. Let's check out the next image. This image id inspired by my observations about the strangers in the city and our vulnerability when we walk alone. Storytelling. The scene conveys curiosity and tells a story about a woman walking quietly and an observer wondering and speculating about her. Effects. The Zoom effect represents two things: the mind of the observer who is completely focused on wondering about the person in front of her or him and the time that is passing while the subject is walking away. The Zoom effect itself, it represents distance, time, and the energy of the two persons, one observing, another walking away. I think as an artist, it is important to listen to your insights and find a way or technique that allows you to transmit your narrative in the way you feel it. They creative prompt for this lesson is, as yourself, what is one technique that can potentially match what I want to express? Now, let's check out what you will need to create this effect. You will need a tripod. This is important because since we need to choose as lower shutter speed or long exposure, if you just carry your camera in your hands, it will not be as steady and you will get motion blur, which looks very cool, but that will be for another assignment. You will also need some lens. We will be zooming in or out to achieve this effect. My zoom lens are 24-7 millimeters focus length. For this effect, we have to work on two main things. Number 1, selecting a slow shutter speed. There is no rule or a specific shutter speed value. Your best shutter speed value will depend on different factors like the amount of light where you are photo shooting, outdoors or indoors, the speed in which you zoom in or zoom out. Second and very important thing, how fast, slow or smooth you zoom in or zoom out your lens. Again, this will call for a lot of experimentation. Personally, I have found that assuming relatively fast and smooth gives me generally the results I love the most. As far as the location goes, you can shoot indoors or outdoors. I highly suggest that you start early in the evening, in general, in a low light environment. I recommend this because you will need to use a slower shutter speed to achieve this effect, which will allow more light to enter into your camera sensor, and therefore, you will have to compensate with a bigger aperture number to cut the amount of light and avoid overexposed images. For instance, this image was taken outdoors at around 5.00 PM and my settings were shutter speed, five seconds, ISO 100, and my aperture number is 22, which is my biggest aperture number. Or in other words, the smallest aperture size of my lens. So basically the tiniest aperture my lens can achieve, and that can help me cut the amount of light coming in. Now that you have everything setup, your location, subject and all your gear, let's talk about this steps itself when working with your camera. Number 1, start by focusing on the point of most interest. For example, the face of your subject, a specific thing, a building, something of your interest. If you focus on something random, you run the risk of getting the attention out of the main subject of the narrative or the whole story. Number 2, place your finger on your shutter button and your other hand over your lens. Number 3, as you press the shutter button, start rotating your lens zooming in simultaneously. Number 4, see the result and adjust your shutter speed value and your aperture number accordingly. Try again, practice and experiment until you get what you're looking for. This is it for this lesson. If you have any questions, feel free to post them in the discussion section and don't forget to share your work to receive constructive feedback. See you in the next lesson. [MUSIC] 8. Blur: Intentional Camera Movement Technique: [MUSIC] I'm a frustrated painter who has always admired abstract impressionist paintings. I love how that style can convey emotions and mesmerizing atmospheres. The good news for many photographers artists out there is that there is a cool way to create abstract, blurred images and that is thanks to the intentional camera movement technique. As the name indicates, we are going to intentionally move our camera while we are taking photographs. This means we do not have to worry about sharpness at all. We're going while with a mindset of experiment and get surprised with the results. In most of this class, the focus has been to tell a story. But for this lesson we will be working on capturing interested atmospheres. Always remember that your camera is a tool that will capture anything of your interests, not only stories. Abstract photography can totally be a wonderful medium to captivate yourself and others. Let's dive in. When working to achieve this effect, I always sit in a quiet room and I start thinking and writing about what places I enjoy visiting and would love to see transform into an abstract photograph. Usually I'm interested in nature like an empty beach, forests or perhaps with a friend or family because those places makes me feel joyful, serine, sometimes nostalgic, and in complete sync with the beauty of nature. Those places have mismatch in energy that I feel eager to capture in an abstract way. But I also enjoy wondering through some hidden gems of the city and contemplating the architecture and the lights when the sun is going down. I encourage you to find your own way to tune into the atmosphere that connects with your interests and feelings and that you feel eager to capture in the abstract way. I like to think of it as if the atmosphere or the location I chose was an extension of my state of mind or current emotions. In short, and to be more clear, when I say atmosphere, I'm speaking about a location that has deep meaning for you. As I mentioned earlier, in this lesson we're focusing on capturing atmospheres that will hopefully evoke emotions in you and your audience rather than telling a story. However, it is important to think of the inspiration and the elements or symbols within the atmosphere that you choose that is important to you because they will help you as a roadmap to select the best composition for your photograph. It doesn't have to be any complicated. In fact, the simpler, the better. Let me show you an example. Knowing these before photo shooting allows me to ambition how I want my elements to be captured in the final image. Inspiration. This image is inspired by the beauty of the sea. It's never ending motion and the memories of living by the beach. The symbols used. Water is peace, serenity, constant cycles of purification, and life. Undefined people as a symbol of shadow of the past. The creative prompt for this lesson is, if you were a landscape or a place, where would you be and why? For this effect, we need to work on two main things: the shutter speed to get the abstract blur effect, and second, how fast is low and in what direction you move your camera. My focus is to first observe the atmosphere or a scene and see what its flow. What I mean is, are there horizontal or straight lights that I would like to follow as if they were brush strokes. Regardless of the flow and because I'm interested in getting surprised, I experiment with moving the camera in different directions. You can even mix these technique with a simpler technique that I teach in the same class. You can zoom in with your zoom lens if you have them, and move your camera at the same time. Checkout that lesson if you haven't done so. Although we already talked about how to tune in and choose the best atmosphere, it is quite important to take in consideration the time of the day you are going to shoot or the contrast you can find in the chosen place. Let me explain. Try to look for contrast of color, highlights, and shadows that can help to get a good balance of blur and some identifiable elements. Similar to the zoom technique, this will also call for a lot of experimentation as there is no rule or a specific slow shutter speed. However, a good start point could be one of a second and go from there. See how abstract the image can get the lower or the longer you go on the shutter speed. As I have mentioned in other lessons, lowering your shutter speed will mean you will get more light into your camera, so you will have to adjust your aperture accordingly to avoid overexposed images. From here, it is all about practicing tons of times. Perhaps you can start practicing the technique first with random places and then once you feel more prepared, schedule a special day to shoot in the place that is so important to you and take the time to be relaxed and enjoy your process. I hope you have enjoyed this lesson as much as I did. I'm excited to see what you create. I would like to invite you to share your work on the project section. [MUSIC] 9. Enhance Your Photos: [MUSIC] Well, all the effects examples you saw in the previous lessons were made right in camera, and there was no need to editing them in Photoshop. Regardless, I always like to enhance my photos in Camera Raw. It is a very simple process where you as an artist, have the opportunity to add your style. Remember, this is not about complicating your process and changing a lot of things, it is a soft process if you will, where you will just make simple, easy adjustments that make your images look even more beautiful. Kind of placing the cherry on the cake. Now, I used to enhance my photos in Lightroom, but then I found a better way to streamline my process in Bridge. Within this program, I can sort my images easily and I can also open the photos I want to enhance in Camera Raw which is similar to Lightroom. It works like a charm for me. But don't worry if you don't have Camera Raw. You can also use Lightroom or other editing programs like a Skylum, Luminar, Capture One or even Apple or Google Photos as all of them have the bare essentials to make your photos look even better. Let me show you a little bit of my process. While I'm here in my editing program which is Camera Raw and I have imported my raw file straight from my camera. I haven't done any change to this file. The very first thing that I do when I open my image is to ask myself, how do I envision this image to look like? Again, this is not a complicated process. It's very brief, it's just to put your style into your image. I already love the photo, but I know that with some adjustments, it will look even better and it will have my style. I know that in terms of cell, what it means to me is that I will apply contrast. I love dramatic contrasty photos, and also I love for this project to be something ethereal and that looks like it was made on a film rather than a digital camera. In order for me to get into that vision the first thing I will do is crop my image and find a crop that really helps convey the story. I like the cut square for this one so I'm really loving it and from here, I'll just go to my Basic panel. You will find something like this in Google Photos, Lightroom or something like that. There's plenty of apps where you can do the same; the basics. As I mentioned, since I really love contrasty dramatic photos, the first thing I will do is go to my contrast, it's lighter or levels and start adjusting just a little bit. Just about that, it is already working. It's giving me a lot of drama and contrast and I'm loving it. From here, I will just play a little bit around with these sliders and see if they add to my photo. It's a little bit of intuition too, it's just style. This is exactly the opportunity for you to tune in into what you like. One it calls for your creativity, your style. I'm going to also try clarity and obviously if you go to the opposite side, it looks terrible. Again, less is more at least that's what I like to think. That's my personal opinion. Unless my client calls for something very dramatic, I don't know, maybe I will adjust it, but I tend to do things simpler. Just play, that's the beauty of this. You really can play just as if you were painting in a canvas. That's it, I will not use this anymore. I have conveyed what I want. From here, I'm going to do is now go to my Color Mixer to see if I can change the color of the wardrobe I am using here because even though I love the tone, it's not my preference or my favorite. I'll blue blue and look for something more turquoise. I hope that's the right way to say it, and just about that. I absolutely love the contrast. Not only the contrasts, but the balance between this gold and this hue. I'm really loving it. Again, maybe I'll see if I can change a little bit on the golden oranges or golden. I don't think it's worth it for now. I think I like this way. By the way, speaking about making adjustments and editing your photo, I highly recommend that when you finish editing your photo, let your eyes rest for a few days; a couple of days. Don't take a look to your photo. Go back again a few days and check it out. Because what happens is that we tend to overdo things. Because when we are editing, we tend to overdo the vision because we are excited and you can say, "Oh, I really love it. It is looking amazing." Yeah, in that moment looks amazing for you. But I highly recommend that you go back and see that sometimes it's not like that. It's totally fine. There's nothing wrong with that. It is normal. All artists do that. It's just a matter of resting the eyes, coming back and saying, "Oh, you know what? I think it was way too contrasty so I'll go for example, to my Basic panel and adjust accordingly." That's the beauty of this. That you can come back anytime you want and change that. Just take that in consideration. It's a very good practice for your art to let it rest and go back to it and polish, if you will. That it for the basics and the color grading and color mixer. Here in color grading what I just did, it was just adjust a little bit the balance between all of those and make it again contrasty and dramatic and I got that. The results is exactly what I'm looking for. After this, usually, I love also black and white photos. I always go to my black and white settings and see how it looks like because it happens to me a lot. I love both versions and to make things easier for me, I just save both versions and I have them in case I want to use one or the other depending of what I'm planning to do with them. Nothing wrong with having both versions. Actually, I encourage you to have both versions because first, you will be able to see the contrast in your images; if it looks flat or it looks like it has a good range of blacks and whites. For example, right here, I can totally see that it's working great. I have the drama here and bringing my attention to the parts where there's more light, the attention and that's exactly what I'm looking for because I want to convey a story that makes you wonder about all of this happening here. Maybe here too, because you don't know if she is in a dark room or what's happening. All of these adds to your composition, to your story. Everything has a weight on the final project. That's the first thing why I recommend you to do that and also because sometimes our photos will look better one way or the other. Sometimes you will think, oh, and color looks better. I will never change that, but you change it to black and white and you absolutely love it. Feel free to go for it and take those decisions. Now, there's a thing about effects. Usually I won't use effects if I'm working with a client that needs portrait of headshots because I really want those to look neat, clear, sharp, and very well-defined. For this kind of pics, I don't, I look for something that looks more like a film so I will definitely add the grain because it makes me feel like it has texture, it has volume, it has something different, so I'm not worried about adding grain at all. I will do that for my fine art. Sometimes depending on the project, it doesn't have to be every single time, but I really, really like to add that texture. Last but not least, presets. Here's the thing. I am not an advocate for presets because call me old style, I feel its like another artist is applying the style to your photo. I don't like that 100 percent, but I have exceptions. For example, if I know how to create this and just for practical process I use it, perfect because I know how to make those work. If not, I will not. For me in that case, I really, really love the black and white presets. I usually apply black and white high contrast to my pictures because I love the feeling of it. I really love the contrasts. Although I didn't create these present myself, it was made writing the software, I know I can do it myself. I know not only that I can do it, but that this goes aligned with my idea of what I want my from photo. I have the skill and for practical reasons I will choose to use it, and that's totally fine. Give yourself permission if you will, to use presets depending what are your rules. For me, that's the rule. But for you, it could be totally fine and that's absolutely fine. I'm not saying you do it the way I do. This is just a personal opinion. That's it. I hope you have enjoyed this little process. Thank you. As you can see, this was a very simple yet effective way to make your images stand out. We have finished this lesson. I hope you got some inspiration to enhance your photos and by the way, I would love to see what you create. Please feel free to share your project on the break session so that the student community can enjoy your work and also to provide you with constructive feedback. [MUSIC] 10. Last Thoughts: Thank you very much for taking my class. I hope it has a spark your curiosity to explore your inner voice and express yourself creatively. We covered the creative process to find out what you want to share it to the world and the technical aspects of creating an income or effects to help you express your vision. The biggest takeaway that I would love to share with you is that by cultivating your curiosity and exploring the world inside and around you, you will nurture your creativity to create meaningful work, no matter what artistic tool you use. Keep experimenting and practicing so that you can express yourself intentionally. To keep supporting you in your artistic journey no matter if you're a beginner or advanced, I invite you to share your project in the project gallery section. Let's nurture our community with artistic images. Remember, I am always happy to provide you with constructive feedback. If you have any questions. Please feel free to reach out to me through my website or you compose your questions here in the discussion section. Also, if you would like to receive notifications about my new classes, please follow me here on Skillshare or Instagram. Lastly, if you would like to receive insightful content about artistic photography, creative wellness practices, and creative productivity, please subscribe to my newsletter. Thank you very much again, and have a beautiful creative day.