Impressionist photography is an image with a dreamy, blurry quality. Rather than capturing every stark detail of a single moment, the impressionist photograph captures multiple moments in a single image.
I’ve always loved impressionist paintings, how a few quick brush strokes could evoke the essence of a subject in such a beautiful way! And I had seen the work of other photographers like Eva Polak and wondered if I could do that myself – capture a subjects essence without all of the detail. But I was busy and I never got around to making time to try it out.
It was a little bit of frustration that gave me the push I needed. One day I a few winters ago I was taking a lot of what I felt were boring photographs of the recent snow. And I wondered if I could better capture the mood of the quiet, snowy landscape with a slow shutter speed.
Because I had been taking properly exposed images, when I slowed down my shutter speed I had to compensate by increasing my f-stop (my ISO was already at 100). A slow shutter speed allows more light to hit the camera’s sensor, which would make the image unusably bright if I didn’t adjust my other exposure settings.
It was a matter of trial and error, I used different shutter speeds and moved the camera both horizontally and vertically. It’s a very simple technique, it just requires a willingness to play!
I was so happy with the results! Impressionist photography captured the mood and feel of my walk much better than the other photographs I took that day. See below for more examples of my impressionist photography.