How to Get ‘That Zoom Effect’

0Comments

Here’s a quick tip on using the ‘zoom effect’ from one of our great forum members ‘Photography blog).

Anime Styley

It’s quick, it’s dirty and it’s REALLY REALLY EASY.

  1. Frame your shot how you want it to appear
  2. Set exposure to something greater than 0.5s
  3. Mash shutter butan
  4. Twist the zoom ring to zoom in or out slightly
  5. Observe
  6. Repeat if unhappy
  7. Be pleased with yourself
  8. Drink a pint

Here’s another example I shot a while back:
Primrose Hill Lights 3

Further Reading: for a little more depth on this topic check out our previous article – Mastering the Zoom Effect.

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  • Gef Dickson

    What exactly does “mash the shutter butan” mean? in the zoom effect. Is butan a miss-spelling of button? Even ,’ve no idea what this might mean!

  • Gef Dickson

    Tom,
    read some of the other posts with the same prob as me, Actually we are on this site to learn about photography not arcane internet language, if that’s what it is. Communication is the key, man. Get with it.

  • Tyler

    Like the post, tried it last weekend and enjoyed the results – will enjoying trying to incorporate this technique in my body of work.
    Really? All these comments? It’s a guest contributor… I’m sure with most all authors you have to read between the lines a little bit at some point. Is it really necessary to get our panties in a bunch? I thought it was funny (because I was mashing the button while trying to zoom out at the same time – left brain, right brain fun), but hey that’s just me.

  • Tyler

    Like the post, tried it last weekend and enjoyed the results – will enjoying trying to incorporate this technique in my body of work. Does work best if you have something big to focus on, but the lights were kinda cool too.

    Really? All these comments? It’s a guest contributor… I’m sure with most all authors you have to read between the lines a little bit at some point. Is it really necessary to get our panties in a bunch? I thought it was funny (because I was mashing the button while trying to zoom out at the same time – left brain, right brain fun), but hey that’s just me.

  • Sparks

    Whats the big fuss over ‘mash the shutter butan’ eh?
    Its pretty much understandable in one go, and provides a nice, Light hearted Diversion from the regular One-Two-One rythm of writing!

Some Older Comments

  • Sparks July 1, 2009 06:49 pm

    Whats the big fuss over 'mash the shutter butan' eh?
    Its pretty much understandable in one go, and provides a nice, Light hearted Diversion from the regular One-Two-One rythm of writing!

  • Tyler July 1, 2009 10:15 am

    Like the post, tried it last weekend and enjoyed the results - will enjoying trying to incorporate this technique in my body of work. Does work best if you have something big to focus on, but the lights were kinda cool too.

    Really? All these comments? It's a guest contributor... I'm sure with most all authors you have to read between the lines a little bit at some point. Is it really necessary to get our panties in a bunch? I thought it was funny (because I was mashing the button while trying to zoom out at the same time - left brain, right brain fun), but hey that's just me.

  • Tyler July 1, 2009 10:12 am

    Like the post, tried it last weekend and enjoyed the results - will enjoying trying to incorporate this technique in my body of work.
    Really? All these comments? It's a guest contributor... I'm sure with most all authors you have to read between the lines a little bit at some point. Is it really necessary to get our panties in a bunch? I thought it was funny (because I was mashing the button while trying to zoom out at the same time - left brain, right brain fun), but hey that's just me.

  • Gef Dickson June 28, 2009 08:03 am

    Tom,
    read some of the other posts with the same prob as me, Actually we are on this site to learn about photography not arcane internet language, if that's what it is. Communication is the key, man. Get with it.

  • Gef Dickson June 28, 2009 07:57 am

    What exactly does "mash the shutter butan" mean? in the zoom effect. Is butan a miss-spelling of button? Even ,'ve no idea what this might mean!

  • JMP Images June 21, 2009 01:06 pm

    You know, I rarely ever read the comments on these techniques that the DPS newsletter comes out with. And now, I know *why* I don't.

    Goodness, all the snarky comments about "mash shutter butan" would have been laughable if it didn't accentuate just how petty some people can be when they feel safely hidden behind Internet anonymity.

    Though it wasn't much of a tutorial for me, as I experimented with those types of shots as far back as three years ago, the other suggestion with the long exposure and setting flash to rear *was* interesting. I did not, however, find the original article in any way, shape or form, offensive.

    Some people's responses, though, were very offensive.

    As others have said.. get a life, people.

    It's the Interweb, for chrissake. As long as no misinformation is being sown and things were being done in good natured humour (ie: enjoy a pint), then live and let live.

    Geez.

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/jmp-images/121042315/

  • ant June 20, 2009 09:10 pm

    Er... sparks and jeff, As far as I am aware it makes no difference to the exposure how quickly or hard you press the shutter button. In this context I am pretty sure "mash" simply means press.

    Neil, the distance you are going to be able to zoom, and the effect itself will make it irelevant whether you are in mf or af.

    on the rest.. lets all take a deep breath and remember that the young like to be hip and funky... this is their God given right and not ours to mess with. the young when posting can in return remember that the old (i am old btw ) will simply be confused and then unhappy if your language is too "way out there" If you could use language that even us oldsters can understand it would be really cool. Then we can learn from you too. As Tom said, we come here to learn. as for all those responses......its not necessary to insult anyone.

    As for me, my canon 50d and I are off to try this directly! thankyou morts!

  • Grant Hardeway June 20, 2009 04:26 am

    I tried it and I liked it.
    Here it is.

    http://www.flickr.com/search/?q=busy%20body&w=30388487%40N07

  • Sparks June 20, 2009 01:22 am

    Bridget Casas,
    They meant 'depress the shutter button Quickly'

    Nice idea for photo enthuasists

  • Ann June 19, 2009 09:11 pm

    Great idea! and thanks for all the additional examples. Something to 'try on' my nephews and niece this weekend, although they'll put motion in pictures by themselves ;-)

  • Kate June 19, 2009 04:46 pm

    Er, shouldn't the Moderator be blocking the insults on this post?

  • Mark June 19, 2009 01:37 pm

    Norm, great examples! Those are very well done and perfectly enhance the settings. Congrats, and thanks for sharing.

  • ross maclean June 19, 2009 12:04 pm

    i do something similar when i take my point and shoot finepix f50fd with me when i go clubbing with mates, but since i dont have a full lense i just it into portrait mode, put the flash on slow syncro, take the picture and drag the camera away from the people as soon as the flash fires. the people stay pretty well defined but the background gets a cool motion blur effect similar to this. ive done the same by twisting the camera to get a circular effect from the background lights.

  • Shane June 19, 2009 10:25 am

    Those who can,do. Those who can't, sit at home on the computer crying and whining about those who get out there and put forth the effort to shoot pictures and learn photography. The authors of all of these articles are trying to share what they have learned with others. This is not an english paper. Are you so bitter with jealousy, that you must tear down anyone who has any success? Are you so bitter that morts was chosen to write this article instead of you that you must tear him down? Photography is about having fun. If you are not having fun, try something else. Go out there and "mash the shutter butan, be pleased with yourself, and drink a pint." Well said morts!

  • Nick June 19, 2009 08:45 am

    I've had some fun with this see links below.
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/nicksk/3016281281/in/set-72157608789304624/
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/nicksk/3560960546/in/set-72157618647272557/

  • jeff June 19, 2009 06:31 am

    jeez, lighten up people. i love people that are just waiting with baited breath to jump on someones spelling error, or a slang term they dont use daily. theres nothing wrong with a guy (that means male human in english) submitting a little lesson, you pseudo intellectual blowhards.

  • jeff June 19, 2009 06:23 am

    i have a fuji s1000, cant seem to do this at all. when i mash the shutter button, zoom freezes. do i need a "big boy camera" for this? does it need to be in manual mode? mash means push hard, or fast in the uk, and america by the way. ill have another pint while i wait for a reply.

  • soueu June 19, 2009 05:41 am

    Although I don't think the tutorial was "professional", so what. It was done to share some knowledge, and technique, and it seems to have accomplished that for those willing to learn, instead of criticize. If that is morts' style, then more power to him. Photography is about creating, and expressing, and I don't think there is a problem with someone using their own style and expression in a photo tutorial. Not the way I would have done it, but that doesn't make it wrong.

  • Norm Levin June 19, 2009 03:15 am

    This zoom trick has been one of my favorites to add motion and excitement to an otherwise prosaic image. I did this recently on a test fashion shoot in San Francisco at night. Put my D90 on the tripod, set the shutter for 1/4 sec. and the flash on "rear". That means that the flash fires at the end of the exposure creating those nifty car light streaks behind the vehicle as the flash illuminates after the streaking begins. When there's no cars, the zoom accentuates the street lights. My lens is the 18-105 ("kit") lens which is much better IMHO than some give credit for. You just have to know its limitations.
    Here's the examples: http://naturalportraits.smugmug.com/gallery/3273171_vNPqi#567439244_KJ6Hc

    I also use this technique at bar/bat mitzvah parties where there's lots of kid action.
    Example: http://naturalportraits.smugmug.com/gallery/7844711_tLQFE#508393521_XfyJb

    As a word of caution, any "trick" can be overdone. If used too much, your style may become stale in a hurry.

  • Lynn June 19, 2009 02:00 am

    Can this be done with a non SLR digital camera - like a Canon Powershot A590IS?

  • Neil June 19, 2009 01:21 am

    Does this work in both AF and MF settings?

  • Mark June 19, 2009 01:14 am

    Well, this one seems to have struck a nerve, eh?

    In any case, quite a useful technique in certain situations. I've had more luck with it while using a flash or two as the strobes helps to "stop" your subject while getting the zoom effect. Here's one of my favorite examples, but I'm still experimenting.

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/mark_k_nj/3557803703/

  • Kate June 18, 2009 04:59 pm

    I'm sorry but "jerks" is not a word that I'd expect to find used on a forum like DPS. I understood "mash shutter butan" (I think) but perhaps I've misunderstood DPS all along. That "School" doesn't mean that we come here to get "educated", perhaps? As a teacher myself, I'd say the first requirement is that you express yourself in a way in which all your "pupils" understand you, the second that you do not insult them when you fail to do that. Frankly, I'm disappointed to find this on DPS.

  • sebg June 17, 2009 11:48 pm

    as "me" said, get a life... I'm not a native english reader (french), and even if "mash shutter butan" was not clear at first read, it needed only a couple of seconds to fully understand this kinda funny expression.

  • Tom June 17, 2009 04:30 pm

    I object both to the original article, the tone of the reply from the author and the last comment from "Me".

    Isn't there some sort of Moderator on DPS?

  • Me June 17, 2009 02:01 am

    With all the rude comments in replies I am frankly surprised anyone bothers to write articles for you people. Every single article so far has had some nerd on the other end of the internet writing a snarky reply. Get a life the guy is trying to be humerous, life is too short for your nearsightedness. Half of you must be 733t gamers in some morgphrpgmouse somewhere sitting on fat bottoms having no real life to speak of to come here nad be jerks to almost every guest that writes an article for you. What fun!

  • NIkoli June 17, 2009 01:50 am

    Cecilia, I don't think this can be done with a point and shoot like the Powershot series. A manual zoom lens is needed. (I'm using a Canon A610. Lame compared to the DSLRs.)

    Oh, and Mort did just fine explaining how to do this. There is nothing at all difficult about the technique, nor his explanation.

  • cecilia June 16, 2009 02:38 pm

    I can't seem to zoom while the shutter is open - anyone else have a G series Canon or a Powershot and have it figured out?

  • Zahava June 16, 2009 12:03 am

    I've tried this and succeeded by accident. I started taking picture pseudo professionally last summer with a 5D. I have been picking things up as I go. My first picture like this was when i was holding the camera above my head and i went to take the picture and as I was taking it some one ran into me. The picture can out awesome but I am definitely lucky I didn't fall and break the dang camera! (as for the "mash shutter butan" I didn't think you were supposed to mash the button down...doesn't that wear on the camera after a while?)

  • Tom June 15, 2009 07:46 am

    Actually, I had understood -- partly given it's name -- that DPS was somewhere people came to learn. They aren't likely to learn a lot if you express yourself in a way in which you cannot be understood. And they aren't likely to come back if you then start to address them in that fashion. I trust that you won't be invited back as a guest contributor.

  • Bridget Casas June 15, 2009 07:19 am

    Yes, se7en, we are not stupid and can figure it out. But we shouldn't have to. If you are going to write for a blog that is read all over the world, proof read and try spell check! Amusing, no - lazy, yes.

  • Se7en June 15, 2009 06:10 am

    I'm sorry.. but some of you have got to lighten up! For crying out loud, getting so upset over "mash shutta butan"?! Give me a break. It took me like two seconds to get it, and I found it very amusing. Are we not, as artists, interested in opening safe places for self expression? It's not offensive, and it's not inappropriate. If a person were speaking, and spoke this, it would be the same thing. Lighten up, and go take pictures. :)

    -Se7en*

  • Smith June 15, 2009 01:22 am

    "mash shutter butan"??

    That's it. This blog has jumped the shark. Some of the posts lately have been good in concept but terribly written. I think this is the cap of it all.

  • Russ (rgreenphotodesign) June 14, 2009 11:35 pm

    Love this technique! Here is one I did around the holidays that I was pleased with. http://rgreenphoto.deviantart.com/art/Christmas-Lights-4-105729758

  • bryan June 14, 2009 05:51 pm

    mash shutter butan is like a slang i believe, for press shutter button?

  • Catherine June 13, 2009 11:01 pm

    It looks great in the first picture, but like others here, I couldn't really understand the expression "Mash shutter butan", only word I recognised that fitted the context was shutter. Made me feel really behind the times... :-))

  • Adam June 13, 2009 09:23 pm

    I think I'd go with either using flash to make the subject lit at one point in the zoom (it looks like this was done with the first point in the zoom) or I'd try to move the camera toward/away from the subject at the same rate as I zoomed in or out (but in the opposite direction) so that they were roughly unchanged, with only the background doing the zoom bit.
    They use this second strategy in films sometimes. Its and interesting effect. The person in the center of the frame appears to stay stationary while everything around them compresses or expands.
    I think this sort of thing would be most practical using a viewfinder as opposed to an LCD display.

  • Peter June 13, 2009 09:19 pm

    gotta love it...short sweet and to the point....with a pint!

  • MeiTeng June 13, 2009 07:57 pm

    What's mash shutter button? I like the first photo but not the second one. I have tried this technique before but found it very difficult to get pleasing shots. Will give this a try again. Thanks for sharing.

  • XIII June 13, 2009 07:17 pm

    Humor, easy, useful. I like.

  • Jesper Revald June 13, 2009 06:35 pm

    If the ambient light is low, you could also add in your flash. Depending on if you use it with first or second curtain sync and which way you zoom, you can get some interesting results, where your subject is frozen with cool trails or halos around it. In fact the first photo looks like it was created in a similar way (not saying that it was, just that it looks like it :)

  • Vash June 13, 2009 05:53 pm

    @tom
    internet language, you really should learn it.

    1)frame shot
    2)exposure more than half a second or generally something that will give you enough time to zoom
    3)zoom in or out, whatever fits/you want. Part of the framing
    4)See the image and correct any mishaps or anything you don't like
    5)try again until you get what you want

  • Tom June 13, 2009 04:40 pm

    Er, maybe I'm slow, or inexperienced, or something but this is about the first article I've ever read on DPS that failed to teach me what it was supposed to teach me.

    It might be "REALLY, REALLY EASY" but not if the explanations given are so very very poor. How many of the 8 stages suggested are actually useful? And, more to the point, can I actually now perform the task?

    NOT up to the usual, very high DPS standards!

  • Chris Bassett June 13, 2009 04:15 pm

    For more zoom effects, hold the zoom ring still and twist your camera...needs a very steady hand...works best with light sources in the dark.

  • sharaff June 13, 2009 03:27 pm

    Good howto.
    I did try this against a tree, the setting sun behind it. Worked well. Need a lot of practice though.
    Here is what I achieved http://www.flickr.com/photos/shoken/2919493340/in/set-72157605017709039/ this is not using in camera setting by the way. the radial blur or the zoom effect is fun.

  • Tyler Ingram June 13, 2009 02:26 pm

    Oops last link should have been this one: http://www.flickr.com/photos/tyleringram/3474592288

  • Tyler Ingram June 13, 2009 02:25 pm

    I did this when i was in Whistler backstage during the concert series: Backstage Zoom Effect

    I thought it was pretty cool!

  • Dennyboy June 13, 2009 10:03 am

    can be done in camera and i think mash shutter butan is press the shutter button (lol)

    here is one i prepared earlier all done in camera

    http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3120/3162455319_2c57d05289_o.jpg

  • Fin C June 13, 2009 08:40 am

    I'm surprised this wasn't a tutorial about how to use the 'Zoom Blur' effect in Photoshop. Incidentally, if you want to do that instead, get a picture, duplicate the picture on a second layer, zoom blur this layer and then gently erase the middle of the layer in increments with a 30% eraser, picking out details as you like. This is a cheat version of the same thing.

  • Bridget Casas June 13, 2009 08:27 am

    What is "mash shutter butan"?
    This looks like something to play with.

  • Chris June 13, 2009 08:24 am

    One of my favorite effects that I've been using for years because it's so simple, yet the message created by it can be very powerful (like the B&W photo in the article). I agree with Ian McKenzie -- one should start zooming first before mashing the shutter butan. Actually, instead of mashing the butan, you can get smoother zooms by lightly depressing the butan.

  • Jeroen June 13, 2009 08:13 am

    You could also combine this with a slow sync flash in darker light situations.

  • jdepould June 13, 2009 08:07 am

    Butan?

  • Ian McKenzie June 13, 2009 07:45 am

    Switching the order of 3 & 4 can give a smoother effect to the zoom.

  • Paola June 13, 2009 07:42 am

    Here is my version:

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/paolaroblesgil/3090429609/

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