Adding Movement in Lego Photography

Eagle landing in the brush
Eagle landing in the brush

Movement in Lego Photography

I have been experimenting as of late with adding a somewhat impressionistic style to my Lego photography by adding movement while taking the shot.

This movement effect is accomplished not by actual movement but by distorting the bokeh background.  There are many ways to distort the bokeh background into various effects.  One such method is cutting out a design on a piece of card stock and placing it in front of the lens.  This works very well with a fast wide open lens such as the MC Rokkor-PF 58mm f1.4.

The smooth bokeh in the background of an image can be altered from its standard circular appearance.  This is utilized around holidays to create an effect by changing the circles into stars, or hearts, or some other shape that correlates with the holiday.

Fireworks Bokeh
Benny loves fireworks!

You can also get a similar effect by placing an item upclose to the lens with bokeh lights blurred in the background such as Benny below:

Benny Bokeh
Benny stands in front of the lens to create Benny Bokeh!

The way I accomplish a movement in the bokeh background is not difficult.  I simply place my hand in front of the lens or some other foreground material to distort the bokeh.  I have found that I can get a subtle mixture of both focused and bokeh elements this way.  This mix of blur and focus also gives a false sense of movement in an otherwise still scene.  I have tested this many ways and it never ceases to amaze me. This works very well for bright environments  that I would otherwise need to stop down to let in less light.

This method for adding movement is more alluring to me because it requires no post processing.  It is all done before the shot is taken.  There are iPhone apps out there that I utilize occasionally to add movement, such as Blur++ Blur and Mosaic, but they cannot beat the real thing.

Eagle movement snow landing
Eagle snow landing

I always love learning simple techniques that can really change the feel of my photography.


Do you have any simple tricks you utilize on a daily basis for your photography?  What are they?  I would love to hear about them in the comments below.

4 Replies to “Adding Movement in Lego Photography”

    1. Hey Tony,
      Yes I have heard of freelensing and I have tried it a few times but I am always worried about dust when I unmount any lens… So I don’t do it often. This simple trick seems to have a similar effect although not as much light leaks!
      I really would like to try a lensbaby. My brother is somewhat of a ambassador for them and they send him lenses quite often with no charge – I am jealous!

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