How Did They Do That: Kinetic Photography

Harrison Jacobs


Stephen Belovarich may use a camera but he considers himself an “electronic artist.” To him, that means using all the tools available to him—digital camera, video camera, digital software, the web—to creates works that are both visually stunning and only possible in today’s digital age.

By day, he’s a one-stop shot for web development. He works freelance, developing websites for clients and producing the content that goes on the websites. However, his real passion is far more experimental.

When Belovarich began working in photography ten years ago, he began experimenting with a variety of image-making techniques that he now calls “Kinetic Photography.”  It is a project born out of his time in college learning videography. At the time, he learned the many movements exclusive to videography, like pans and zooms, and was intrigued with how he could bring those movements to still photography. What he came up with was combining long exposures with handheld camera movements as a way to record motion and time in stills. Kinetic Photography has evolved from those gauzy beginnings into his signature project.

“The original aesthetic was a little bit messier than it is now,” explains Belovarich. “I’ve honed that down into simple movements for the current progression of photographs—very linear motions, rotations of the camera, or [improvisation].”

In the above image, “Void Of The Unconscious Mind,” Belovarich used the light of a California sunset to create a surreal abstraction. He usually doesn’t reveal the subject matter he is photographing, but he made an exception for Emerging Photographer. The images are meant to be abstractions as he likes “the viewer’s subconscious to fill the blank [of the image] in.”

For this image, he spun the camera in nearly a 360 degree motion to capture the multi-colored abstraction. Because he does every movement handheld, there are slight wobbles in the lines, which adds to the handmade quality of the image. To capture the motion, he sets the shutter-speed at approximately 2 seconds and, to ensure that the image doesn’t blow out, he stacks a Neutral Density-8 filter and a polarizer filter on top of the lens.

Once the image is taken, he is nearly done. He usually brings the image into Adobe Photoshop Creative Cloud and does some slight adjustments via the Camera Raw module and the HDR processing module. In general, these are only slight tweaks. In the case of this image, he happened to catch a green streetlight in the image, which disturbed the unity of the color scheme. He altered the color to a combination of oranges, reds and yellows. After he does some final tweaks in Camera Raw a second time, the image is ready to go.

You can check out more of Belovarich’s (very cool) work here and, if you are want to support his upcoming photography and video art exhibition, check out his Kickstarter. It only has 4 days to go! 



PDN August 2016: The Fine-Art Photography Issue



Tout VTS


Tout VTS


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