Exploring the world of Intentional Camera Movement (ICM) under the tutorage of Stephanie Johnson global ICM leader and mentor as well as being the founder of ICM Photography Magazine has been a very personal journey for me and pushing me to “unlearn” traditional photographic techniques.
A Different Kind of Photography
In the simplest terms, ICM can be defined as photographically capturing an image while intentionally moving the camera during the exposure.
ICM is a fascinating and beautiful world where the camera and the photographer’s movements combine to become a mechanical paintbrush, transforming photographic captures into something completely unique and otherwise invisible to the naked eye.
ICM is a total contrast to the obsession with image sharpness and as a photographer you know that the idea of moving the camera during the exposure is the polar opposite of what you are “supposed” to do and there’s no tripod in sight!
If you are new to capturing or viewing ICM images, you’ll notice that you are entering an alien world when compared to traditional photography and be ready for friends and family to be a bit confused by your images. We’re not use to seeing photographs that reimagine or interpret the world and when faced with what looks like a blurry, abstract image that you label as a photograph, they are likely to not know how to interpret your image.
But beware, ICM becomes addictive and much more than an accident or experiment, it becomes an entirely new world of photography to explore, practice, and perfect.
Like others who have been through the ICM journey, I initially struggled to fully let go of everything I’d previously been doing – laying down the tripod, throwing sharpness thoughts away as well as the idea of properly exposed captures. Now, I’ve replaced this with a different kind of eye and mind – one where I’m spotting potential in a streak of light or a blob of colour, spotting recognisable shapes in clouds.
I learnt is that each photographer’s ICM journey is different, I saw that other photographers prefer different layouts and finishes.
What I also discovered is that ICM and street photography can go hand in hand to be included in the artistic sub-genre of street photography as seen from my image below taken in Sydney’s Pitt Street mall.
Other Photographer’s Journey
Here’s a range of the other beautiful images created at Women in Photography’s 2022 ICM Landscape Photography Retreat at Lake Ohau – most of the photographers at this retreat had never taken any ICM images previously.
My first ICM image that I fell in love with was taken on our recent ICM Landscape Photography Retreat below – the image is of the glacier water of Lake Ohau and the surrounding Ben Ohau ranges. My second and third were taken at Adelaide’s Botanic Garden – yes, I do like these two images, although the dreamy flow of my first image still ranks as ”my first love”.
Come Join the ICM Journey
Picture yourself here as one of those who recently were part of our 2022 ICM Landscape Photography Retreat – start and create your own personal ICM photographic journey with us as Stephanie will be leading in 2023 two ICM Photography Retreats ”down-under”, so come join us in either Sydney or Auckland.