Holiday abstract photography

One technique that we can use in our creative photography is zooming in or out with our lens during the exposure time to create a sense of motion to a static subject. Holiday lights are the perfect subject to experiment with this fun technique.


ISO 200 F9, 1.7 sec

Every push of the shutter is a surprise waiting to happen.


My thoughts on going about creating this type of abstract photography are simple. Extended shutter times with smooth deliberate turns of the zooming barrel of your lens. I like to get between 2 and 4 seconds of shutter speed as my base set up. This gives me a wide range of effects to experiment with by adjusting the speed when turning the zooming barrel on my lens.


ISO 800 F18, 9 seconds

There is, of course, more than one way of creating holiday abstracts and art is in the eye of the beholder as the saying goes. The images I am using on this blog all use the same approach to creating a sense of movement in the lights they display. When I create using the zooming technique I zoom into my subject, focus, shutter release using my 2-second timer so I can my timing ready to zoom when the shutter goes off.




ISO 200 F9, 5 seconds

Taking the image is only have the fun. processing your creations in Lightroom is just as important to the final look of your image and must be done if you are shooting in RAW and I hope you are.

Desktop Screenshot 2017.12.16 -


ISO 800 F18, 5 seconds

Creating with light and color creates wonderful holiday-themed images that delight the senses and by controlling the process using the exposure triangle we help reinforce and understand how our camera and lens work in combination with one another.

Happy Holidays everyone and don’t just take images, create images.

Ron Phillips Photography




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