Beautiful Examples of Kinetic Photography

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When you hear the word ‘kinetic‘ for the first time, probably the first thing that comes to your mind is motion. Kinetic Photography, also known as ‘camera tossing‘, is a technique of shooting photos with the actual physical movement of the camera. However, it does not necessarily involve tossing of the camera — you can also shake, bounce, swing or spin it; the goal of the technique is to obtain unpredictable results which are sometimes fascinating, always abstract and rarely boring.

The main rule of kinetic photography is simple: do not hold your camera stationary! Obviously, it is a quite uncommon and bizarre technique that involves risk of damaging your camera. The concept is extremely simple and really fun to use. Though the outcome is uncertain, kinetic photography sometimes produces beautiful abstract, random and motion blurred images. The results often look like a computer generated graphics.

Below we present beautiful examples of kinetic photography for your inspiration. All images are linked to photographer’s web sites. You can explore further works of the photographers we’ve featured below by clicking on the images presented in this showcase. And feel free to add links to some beautiful works in the comments to this post!

Beautiful Examples of Kinetic Photography

mtnrockdhh83634733191791

Screenshot2

Matt Gorecki433

4

thinking-fish5

6

El Ray877371655551157

Screenshot8

mtnrockdhh83634733191791

10

Dave Gorman11

12

LeTiger13

14

El Ray877371655551157

16

mtnrockdhh83634733191791

18

mtnrockdhh83634733191791

20

hookstrapped21

22

Tomas i Småland23

24

Abizeleth25

Screenshot26

? ?l?27

28

Right Brain4929

30

capcbd31

32

mtnrockdhh83634733191791

Screenshot34

pan_tomi35

36

QuakkauQ | Jens Ludwig4537

38

clickykbd6939

40

quinet41

Screenshot42

Matt Gorecki433

Matt Gorecki44

QuakkauQ | Jens Ludwig4537

Screenshot46

mtnrockdhh83634733191791

Screenshot48

Right Brain4929

Screenshot50

El Ray877371655551157

Screenshot52

Galvatori53

54

El Ray877371655551157

56

baliomegatron57

58

Jay Versluis59

60

eflon61

62

mtnrockdhh83634733191791

64

El Ray877371655551157

66

eastofnorth67

68

clickykbd6939

70

El Ray877371655551157

72

El Ray877371655551157

74

xisbe75

76

gspence2177

78

rachie lea79

80

tengtan81

82

mtnrockdhh83634733191791

84

Clickykbd85

Screenshot86

El Ray877371655551157

88

mtnrockdhh89

90

Further Resources

Footnotes

  1. 1 http://www.flickr.com/photos/mtnrockdhh/
  2. 2 http://www.flickr.com/photos/7178115@N03/414087589
  3. 3 http://www.flickr.com/photos/bolerosanchez/
  4. 4 http://www.flickr.com/photos/bolerosanchez/400291065/
  5. 5 http://thinking-fish.deviantart.com/
  6. 6 http://thinking-fish.deviantart.com/art/CBD75-128355958
  7. 7 http://www.flickr.com/photos/elray/
  8. 8 http://www.flickr.com/photos/elray/101842719/
  9. 9 http://www.flickr.com/photos/mtnrockdhh/
  10. 10 http://www.flickr.com/photos/mtnrockdhh/2227251810/in/set-72157600229113669/
  11. 11 http://www.flickr.com/photos/dgbalancesrocks/
  12. 12 http://www.flickr.com/photos/54873020@N00/371902796
  13. 13 http://www.flickr.com/photos/letiger/
  14. 14 http://www.flickr.com/photos/letiger/2338452063/
  15. 15 http://www.flickr.com/photos/elray/
  16. 16 http://www.flickr.com/photos/24932106@N00/95739274
  17. 17 http://www.flickr.com/photos/mtnrockdhh/
  18. 18 http://www.flickr.com/photos/mtnrockdhh/2163642939/
  19. 19 http://www.flickr.com/photos/mtnrockdhh/
  20. 20 http://www.flickr.com/photos/mtnrockdhh/2049577918/
  21. 21 http://www.flickr.com/photos/hookstrapped/
  22. 22 http://www.flickr.com/photos/hookstrapped/1938330935/
  23. 23 http://www.flickr.com/people/11463679@N06/
  24. 24 http://www.flickr.com/photos/11463679@N06/2613835398/in/pool-cameratoss
  25. 25 http://www.flickr.com/photos/abizeleth/
  26. 26 http://www.flickr.com/photos/91706714@N00/3224000595
  27. 27 http://www.flickr.com/photos/kylewayne/
  28. 28 http://www.flickr.com/photos/kylewayne/3148875100/
  29. 29 http://www.flickr.com/photos/lightshousehpc/
  30. 30 http://www.flickr.com/photos/lightshousehpc/3126786622/
  31. 31 http://www.flickr.com/photos/twistedpics/
  32. 32 http://www.flickr.com/photos/twistedpics/3125887778/
  33. 33 http://www.flickr.com/photos/mtnrockdhh/
  34. 34 http://www.flickr.com/photos/mtnrockdhh/2385659841/
  35. 35 http://www.flickr.com/photos/pan_tomi/
  36. 36 http://www.flickr.com/photos/pan_tomi/428573947/
  37. 37 http://www.flickr.com/photos/quakkauq/
  38. 38 http://www.flickr.com/photos/quakkauq/2898650345/
  39. 39 http://www.flickr.com/photos/clickykbd/
  40. 40 http://www.flickr.com/photos/clickykbd/63152557/
  41. 41 http://www.flickr.com/photos/quinet/
  42. 42 http://www.flickr.com/photos/quinet/76809984/
  43. 43 http://www.flickr.com/photos/bolerosanchez/
  44. 44 http://www.flickr.com/photos/bolerosanchez/377347838/
  45. 45 http://www.flickr.com/photos/quakkauq/
  46. 46 http://www.flickr.com/photos/quakkauq/2511434345/
  47. 47 http://www.flickr.com/photos/mtnrockdhh/
  48. 48 http://www.flickr.com/photos/mtnrockdhh/669572161/
  49. 49 http://www.flickr.com/photos/lightshousehpc/
  50. 50 http://www.flickr.com/photos/lightshousehpc/3252466556/
  51. 51 http://www.flickr.com/photos/elray/
  52. 52 http://www.flickr.com/photos/24932106@N00/96322324
  53. 53 http://galvatori.deviantart.com/
  54. 54 http://galvatori.deviantart.com/art/Dual-ephemeral-104529380
  55. 55 http://www.flickr.com/photos/elray/
  56. 56 http://www.flickr.com/photos/24932106@N00/281646894
  57. 57 http://www.flickr.com/photos/baliomegatron/
  58. 58 http://www.flickr.com/photos/8132933@N04/1216062288/
  59. 59 http://www.flickr.com/photos/versluis/
  60. 60 http://www.flickr.com/photos/versluis/2669489547/
  61. 61 http://www.flickr.com/photos/eflon/
  62. 62 http://www.flickr.com/photos/eflon/3655695161/in/set-72157603955054893/
  63. 63 http://www.flickr.com/photos/mtnrockdhh/
  64. 64 http://www.flickr.com/photos/mtnrockdhh/1035244002/
  65. 65 http://www.flickr.com/photos/elray/
  66. 66 http://www.flickr.com/photos/elray/121886391/
  67. 67 http://www.flickr.com/photos/eastofnorth/
  68. 68 http://www.flickr.com/photos/eastofnorth/
  69. 69 http://www.flickr.com/photos/clickykbd/
  70. 70 http://www.flickr.com/photos/clickykbd/2712959896/
  71. 71 http://www.flickr.com/photos/elray/
  72. 72 http://www.flickr.com/photos/24932106@N00/366361011
  73. 73 http://www.flickr.com/photos/elray/
  74. 74 http://www.flickr.com/photos/24932106@N00/298306553
  75. 75 http://www.flickr.com/photos/xisbe/
  76. 76 http://www.flickr.com/photos/xisbe/3085723468/in/pool-36307843@N00
  77. 77 http://www.flickr.com/photos/13895388@N03/
  78. 78 http://www.flickr.com/photos/13895388@N03/1988365704/
  79. 79 http://www.flickr.com/photos/rachels_photo_world/
  80. 80 http://www.flickr.com/photos/rachels_photo_world/1023777568/
  81. 81 http://www.flickr.com/photos/tengtan/
  82. 82 http://www.flickr.com/photos/tengtan/3208938904/
  83. 83 http://www.flickr.com/photos/mtnrockdhh/
  84. 84 http://www.flickr.com/photos/mtnrockdhh/584153058/
  85. 85 http://www.flickr.com/photos/clickykbd/
  86. 86 http://www.flickr.com/photos/clickykbd/143802466/
  87. 87 http://www.flickr.com/photos/elray/
  88. 88 http://www.flickr.com/photos/24932106@N00/117317848
  89. 89 http://www.flickr.com/people/mtnrockdhh/
  90. 90 http://www.flickr.com/photos/mtnrockdhh/2383666134/in/set-72157600229113669/
  91. 91 http://www.flickr.com/groups/cameratoss/
  92. 92 http://cameratoss.blogspot.com/
  93. 93 http://www.flickr.com/photos/mtnrockdhh/collections/72157601637118962/

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Vailancio Rodrigues is a web ninja who bakes semantic muffins. Apart from that he is also interested in Motion Graphics, Visual Effects, Photography and knows little bit of Physics due to his college education . He is from Goa - a beautiful tropical paradise in India.

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  1. 1

    Beautiful work! Thanks for the collection.

  2. 2

    Beautiful but I think some things like the smoke photography do not constitute kinetic photography (or maybe I just misunderstood the term)

  3. 3

    I had a go at this with my old camera. Some of the effects you can get are really amazing as this post shows.

  4. 4

    Truly beautiful & inspiring :)

  5. 5

    Amazing stuff!

  6. 6

    how ’bout some examples of the techniques that the photographer used to produce these images? e.g. how to shake the camera to produce good results.

  7. 7

    Inspiring..

    @webdesign_news

  8. 8

    Yeah I agree with gregory. Some examples of the techniques that the photographer used to produce these images would be nice.

  9. 9

    If you click the links, some of them lead to explanations.

  10. 10

    Nice photos! I played with my camera too, making photos at my Apple keyboard light. here’s the result.

  11. 11

    I did this a while back and had no idea what it was called.
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/john-hanusek/sets/72057594071495425/

  12. 12
  13. 13

    Doesn’t really seem to be a collection of “camera tossing”. The images here seem to be the result of some pretty planned (and probably stationary) shots.

    Yet another uninspiring (and not too well thought out) photo collection from smashing.

  14. 14

    Thanks for highlighting Kinetic Photography technique.

    However, a little clarification is in order. You incorrectly identify in your introductory paragraph that Kinetic Photography is also known as Camera Toss, and that it doesn’t necessarily involve tossing of the camera.

    Kinetic Photography involves movement of the camera (and/or the subject), which can be accomplished my hand-held motion, swinging from a strap or tether, rotation on a tripod, etc.

    Camera Toss is a specific subset of Kinetic Photography that involves creation of photographs by an airborne camera – one that is thrown into the air, out of one’s hands and untethered in any way. So, to qualify as a Camera Toss image, the camera DOES in fact need to be thrown into the air. Various types of rotation contribute to the reproducible geometries exhibited by many of the images referenced above that resulted from actual tossed cameras, and these geometries are usually easily differentiated from their hand-held counterparts by the fluidity of the resulting patterns.

  15. 15

    wow those look amazing, great post

  16. 16

    Stunning!

  17. 17

    I have also always been facinated by pushing the limit when taking photoes. In the old days with SLRs it was an expensive joy – making the will to experience close to non-existing (because of the cost). Today with instance results and no-costs using digital cameraes it is very easy and cheap to experience when talking pictures! :-)
    I though do not have any examples as good as the ones above – but I would like to share one: a simple kinetic photo. About the image I can say that I tried to set exposure to 15 seconds one night and turned around during the 15 seconds.

    For a period I used the resulting image as a backdroup on my monitor :-)

    Cheers!

  18. 18

    Great article but …
    You have forgotten Heinrich Heidersberger. Take a look at the results of his so called Rhythmograph.

    Heinrich Heidersberger

  19. 19

    stunning ! I would love to know the techniques involved….

  20. 20

    Cant bring myself to toss my D3 around I¬m afraid /o

  21. 21

    Wow….These are incredible. Does anyone know what type of camera is required for Kinetic Photography? SLR? Also, do you know of any good tuturials for this type of photography?

  22. 22

    Its really a great works

  23. 23

    A how to would be nice

  24. 24

    those look amazing

  25. 25

    Very great post. Thank you, really inspiring!

  26. 26

    It’s hard to believe these are real photos with no retouching, but then again, I’m just a amateur. Am I missing something?

  27. 27

    que hermosas imagenes :)

  28. 28

    @john & @sten – to be fair… yours are just blurry photos… Sorry guys. Nice result with an Apple keyboard though. Altogether, nice post SM, great examples – more photography please!

    Peace!

  29. 29

    Awesome article. It inspired me to try it out by throwing my camera phone in the air a bunch of times. I got some interesting results considering I was doing this for only about 20 mins with a 3 megapixel phone camera.

    http://twitpic.com/ja7n8
    http://twitpic.com/ja7uk

    I’d like to try doing it seriously some time… seems fun!

  30. 30

    SUPERB! I love 3rd one!

  31. 31

    Amazing photos, moving a little can have amazing results!

  32. 32

    @James

    You don’t necessarily need an SLR. You can use any camera that lets you set the exposure time. The light source is recorded onto the cameras sensor while the shutter is open, the longer you leave it open, the better the effect. If you’re using a point and shoot, it would be worth dropping the exposure down if you can, if not then make sure you’re in a dark room and set your ISO to 100 (or as low as it’ll go) this will make your camera less sensitive to light so you don’t blow out your image. Computer monitors with patterns on the screen work best when camera tossing, point your camera at the computer, press the shutter and gently throw it upwards into the air

  33. 33

    Looks really nice. I think kinetic photography looks even nicer with a lomographic effect… done with a photoshop action or with the real deal camera of course.

  34. 34

    @thinking-fish

    It’s a stunning image mate, very ‘Tron’.

  35. 35

    Great article.
    My good friend Felipe Cretella has been doing this for a few years and has some pretty interesting stuff now.
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/felipecretella/

  36. 36
  37. 37

    I did one of those a while back, not as abstract though: See it on Flickr

  38. 38
  39. 39

    truly useless and underwhelming

  40. 40

    ;-o !! Nostalgic.. Extremely superb collection…

    Thnks for sharing..guys. :)

  41. 41

    Amazing.. gonna go try to create my own this weekend. :)

  42. 42
  43. 43

    WOW! What a great collection.

  44. 44

    awesome work, guys . . . lettin’ the inspiration take hold. the blue / creme work by matt gorecki reminds me of up ‘n coming “google wave” logo. well done . . . and thanks for sharing.

  45. 45

    Thanks! This is a great images to make something… an avatars for example… Isn’t it?

  46. 46

    excellent collection, great work !!!

    here some other exciting samples:
    http://photoworx.ch/component/option,com_wrapper/Itemid,75/lang,de/

  47. 47

    Wow, impressive photographs! I’ve been experimenting with Kinetic Photography, and I didn’t even know it.
    Once again, thank you Smashing Magazine.

  48. 48

    Well, they used one of the photos that I wasn’t the most impressed with of the ones I’ve taken (14th down), nonetheless, I’m quite flattered.

    All the same, in my case, for a How-To:
    1) Find a (hopefully) colorful light source at night,
    2) set the shutter speed to something like 2 seconds,
    3)set the timer,
    4) just as the timer is about to go off, toss the camera into the air, aiming at the light source, in any sort of motion (spiral, twist, etc.)
    5) ???
    6) Profit!

    • 49

      I liked the how-to you gave it was short and funny. But pretty accurate I shall give canera tossing photography a try in the future. Thanks!

  49. 50

    how can i do same photo work by photoshop – 7

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