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A New Technique - Adamski

52Frames Week 02:

The challenge prompt: “A New Technique”, with an extra challenge of “Shoot In Manual Mode”


I've been immersed in the world of photography for quite some time now, and the quest to explore a new technique, particularly with a furry companion (a dog, to be precise! 😉), proved to be a delightful challenge. Despite my strong aversion to abstract art (it just doesn't click with me, lol), last year I came across some stunning examples of the “Adamski Effect”. This technique involves applying motion blur vertically and/or horizontally to an image, often excluding the subject, which results in a soft and dream-like quality. The key insight I had before the session was that patterned backgrounds tend to work well for the approach.


I recruited border collie Kite to model for the task, and she and I (and her pawrents!) wandered through Cherry Creek State Park (in Aurora, CO), looking for strong verticals and horizontals - capturing frames on benches, fallen logs, stumps, stairs, and in the winter grasses. Despite the chilly weather (brr! 🥶), Kite posed enthusiastically, with frequent “payment” breaks of frisbee fun and tasty snacks. 😊


After the session, I sifted through the images and selected four for a rapid test of the processing technique. Always a fan of making the dog the hero of the photo, I favored the clean, one-axis concept, so the standout was the pose on the stairs. (The images with both horizontals and verticals appeared overly busy to me.) However, applying the blur posed a bit of a challenge, as it inadvertently blurred Kite as well, creating black smudges on either side. To address this, I cloned the stairs over her, essentially removing her from the frame, and then applied the blur to THOSE, non-Kite, layers. I later masked her back in. When I shared the image with my “Hounds” (fellow dog photographer buddies 🐾📷🐶😘), they noted that Kite seemed too much like a sticker or cutout in the scene. Responding to this feedback, I adjusted my layer mask to reveal the step she was sitting on, thereby "grounding" her back into the setting.


While I’m unsure how often I’ll employ this technique in the future, I'm genuinely enamored with the result. Having added another tool to my photographic toolbox brings me immense joy and satisfaction! 📷🛠️


Submitted image of Kite, “It’s Not Polite to Stair” (I crack myself up! 😝):

Short coat border collie on stairs with snow, Adamski effect applied

f/3.2, 1/800th, ISO 1000, @ 135mm, 01/10/2024


The behind the scenes (BTS) look of how I created it:

Behind the scenes of a dog photography session in Cherry Creek State Park, Colorado

Of course, I’m not one to keep a dog sitting/posing for long, so I also had to take some hanging out, loose, just being a dog photos too. It was during one of these that Kite decided she wanted to get up close and personal with me. Too close, a bit too close Kite!! 😂 

Behind the scenes of a dog photography session in Cherry Creek State Park, Colorado

Additional (unedited) images from the session:

Filmstip of border collie images from a dog photography session in Cherry Creek State Park, Colorado

  Ginger Wick Photography is an award winning dog photographer specializing in creating beautiful custom artwork of dogs & their people. Based in Parker, CO serving the Denver area.

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