Easily Take Mysterious Pictures using the ICM Technique.

When hiking I try new ways with my camera.  I try to understand the interaction of the sensor with the light in the scene.  This picture is resulting from my experimentation.

How to take a Mysterious Picture Example

Making a Mysterious Pictures using Intentional Camera Movement

After setting my shutter speed at 1/6th of a second, I took multiple pictures while slowly moving my camera upward and downward.  This resulted in this Mysterious and Gloomy picture.  I made sure I was out of focus.  Doing so, increase the mystery.  This is usually called Intentional Camera Movement.   I like to call this the Mysterious Picture technique.

It takes some time to understand how the camera movement translate into an image.  I had only one nice picture out of 30 shutter actuation.

I like the sense of drama that is part of this picture.

Among the success criteria for such a picture:

  1. Make sure the scene is rather gloomy;
  2. Think about rules of compositions;
  3. Dark bark trees work very well in a Mysterious Photo.

Take note that contrast is reduced using Intentional Camera Movement.  As such, do not hesitate to increase contrast and saturation in post-production.  Decreasing clarity also help in creating a picture that is somewhat gloomy.

You have certainly seen great picture taken on a foggy day?  the fog and the mis help makes the picture more interesting.  What we can clearly see propel our imagination.  By using this technique a boring scene could become an interesting picture.

The Mysterious Shot Technic is relatively popular.  Wikipedia has a text dedicated to it.  Another source of information is Digital Photography School.  You can also look at my other article: “A Different Kind of Landscape Photography”  published on Visual Wilderness on the same topic.

You want to try it out?  Start out by a regular movement, either vertical or horizontal depending on the subject.  Make sure you have a focal point, hopefully on one of the third line, in your scene.  Even though it is a mysterious shot, composition rules still prevail.

While hiking in the forest, there are boring time in terms of image making.  With the Mysterious Shot technique, it is never boring.  This is now part of by toolbox designed to create original pictures.  What do you think of my Enchanted Forest picture?