101 — Intentional Camera Movement — Interview with Michael Orton

Pho­tog­ra­phy pod­cast #101 fea­tures an inter­view with one of my favorite pho­tog­ra­phers, fine art pho­tog­ra­pher Michael Orton. In this pod­cast we talk about delib­er­ately mov­ing your cam­era dur­ing the expo­sure. Nor­mally, this is FORBIDDEN and you do every­thing in your power to keep the cam­era as still as pos­si­ble while shoot­ing. But Michael has a very unique way of see­ing and has again bro­ken the rules. He has cre­ated a unique and fab­u­lous new port­fo­lio of one-of-a-kind abstract land­scape images, by way of inten­tional cam­era move­ment. This pod­cast dis­cusses inten­tional cam­era move­ments for cre­ative effect.

Michael Orton is a fine art pho­tog­ra­phy pio­neer. First he cre­ated Orton Imagery, AKA the Orton effect some 30ish years ago.  This tech­nique has been used by tens of thou­sands of pho­tog­ra­phers and has become so pop­u­lar that Adobe Ele­ments 10 now fea­tures an action called the Orton Effect. I’d bet hard that Michael’s tech­nique involv­ing com­pound cam­era move­ments also devel­ops a cult-like fol­low­ing in the years to come. Thanks so much Michael!


Awakening by Michael Orton
Awak­en­ing by Michael Orton — The abstract painterly feel to this image was cre­ated IN CAMERA by using Inten­tional cam­era movement.


Michael Orton at ‘Work’ — Image by Marko Kulik


Links /resources men­tioned in this pod­cast:
– Michael Orton Pho­tog­ra­phy
Michael Orton’s fea­ture on Photography.ca
– 67 – Orton Imagery – The Orton Effect – Inter­view with Michael Orton and Dar­win Wiggett — Pod­cast #67
– Pho­tograph­ing Cre­ative Land­scapes by Michael Orton: Sim­ple Tools for Artis­tic Images and Enhanced Creativity

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Thanks to Patrick, Bambi and Glenn Euloth who posted  blog com­ments about our last pod­cast. Thanks as always to every­one that sent com­ments by email about our last pod­cast. Although ALL com­ments are appre­ci­ated, com­ment­ing directly in this blog is pre­ferred. Thanks as well to all the new mem­bers of the bul­letin board. Most of the links to actual the prod­ucts are affil­i­ate links that help sup­port this site. Thanks in advance if you pur­chase through those links.

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You can down­load this pho­tog­ra­phy pod­cast directly by click­ing the pre­ced­ing link or lis­ten to it almost imme­di­ately with the embed­ded player below.

Thanks for lis­ten­ing and keep on shooting!


  1. I was look­ing to see if i’m doing what’s been done. While cam­era Motion can have a blending/mixing of colours, I’m con­cerned after read­ing http://www.photography.ca/fine-art-photographers/orton/ that col­ors found in RAW that were not notice­able, look­ing in the camera/looking through the cam­era were redis­trib­uted in the image, yet applied to dra­matic affect.-Ernie Moore Jr.

    I’m try­ing to dis­cern which of the selec­tions were cam­era motion. When I select them the color might seem off, or not valid/true in that position–trying to see the meat from the gris­tle. If there’s Orton effect done by Orton him­self I sup­pose it is merely his style. But when you get your style from a Photo Shop (includ­ing layering)-one has left pho­tog­ra­phy and entered Gaphic Art.-Ernie Moore Jr.

    As peo­ple work­ing with what’s avail­able, much suc­cess to the Ortons with their Graphic Arts work(s). I hope to some­day see the non-composite layer, Com­pos­ite Inten­tional Cam­era Motion Imagery untouched(-up) nor what’s there reap­plied; to see how the pho­toim­ages com­pared to my han­dling of cam­era motion.-Ernie Moore Jr.

    The lack of pom­pus­ness was nice. Mr. Orton seems a per­son who’s found joy in the experiences-what was old can be looked at again to be new and reappreciated.-Ernie Moore Jr.

  2. Anuj says:

    Hi marko,

    really really good lis­ten­ing to this podcast…I tried OCCM indoors n it sucks, hop ill improve soon…will try more ofcourse. Head­ing to a beau­ti­ful place for hon­ey­moon in 2 months and I hope to do jus­tice with some pics with this technique…

    Thank­ing you


  3. scorpio_e says:

    Another great pod­cast Marko.

    What I loved about this episode was it was inspir­ing. It makes me want to go out of my nor­mal shoot­ing mode and try some­thing new.

    Michael has a truly won­der­ful port­fo­lio and I wanted to thank him for his inspi­ra­tion and shar­ing his technique.

  4. Melissa Dorner says:

    Hey Marko! It’s my first time com­ment­ing on your site, but I am a long time lis­tener to your pod­cast. Just wanted to say thanks for your inter­view with Michael Orton. I am com­pletely smit­ten with his cam­era move­ment work. I actu­ally took an “acci­den­tal” photo last year that I liked. I was going to an upstairs win­dow to take a pic­ture of a beau­ti­ful sun­set. On my way up, I acci­den­tally pressed the shut­ter release. The shut­ter speed was set on 1 sec­ond (from the prev. night when I was doing some night pho­tog­ra­phy.) I got a shot that turned out pretty cool. I never thought of doing it on pur­pose! I’m def­i­nitely going to exper­i­ment with this!

    Also, I have to agree with Math­ias, you have a really unique, pleas­ant to lis­ten to voice. As I believe I men­tioned when I found you on G+, you always seem so happy & excited to talk pho­tog­ra­phy, it makes for a very enjoy­able lis­ten­ing expe­ri­ence! Thanks!

  5. Josh G says:

    I’ve used cam­era move­ment to get some inter­est­ing shots, but i never thought about such spe­cific move­ments like the ones Orton used. Very use­ful and inter­est­ing podcast!

  6. admin says:

    Thanks so much for the com­ments every­one! Much appre­ci­ated.
    Math­ias, I’m flat­tered — Thanks for tak­ing the time to write me; it makes pro­duc­ing these photo pod­casts even more enjoyable.

  7. Mathias says:

    Thank you very much for another great pod­cast episode.

    I sub­scribe to a num­ber of photo pod­casts (Tips from the Top Floor, a few german-language ones, Pho­toNet­Cast and the Pro Pho­tog­ra­phy Show) and I’ve got to say the scope, depth and length of the indi­vid­ual episodes is per­fect for my atten­tion span and interest!

    Love how you’ve picked a (to me) totally new per­spec­tive on how to take pic­tures of land­scapes this time. And the fact that you’ve also made it rather hands-on and applicable.

    I also need to say that you have a gen­uinely inter­est­ing vocal range that isn’t tir­ing to lis­ten to at all. Okay, that may be a weird way to pro­vide pos­i­tive feed­back, but I find a good many pod­casts go a long way toward the vocal equiv­a­lent of fin­ger­nails screech­ing over a black­board. Yours doesn’t.

    So thank you for all that, please keep it up.

    Greet­ings from Ger­many (land of the plain-spoken feed­back),

  8. Great pod­cast! Michael Orton’s images are gor­geous. Years ago I did a gen­eral pho­tog­ra­phy course Shai Ginott (www.shaiginott.com). She does sim­i­lar work but wouldn’t tell us how she used cam­era move­ment to cre­ate abstract land­scapes. Now I’m feel­ing really inspired!

  9. Henry.b says:

    Wow that was inter­est­ing tech­nique. thx to Michael and Marko.

  10. Jill Bayer says:

    I love Michael Orton’s port­fo­lio!!!
    Thank-you for another excel­lent pod­cast Marco I have book­marked this episode.

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