Tuesday, April 08, 2008

The Ken Burns Effect

Have you ever watched a documentary that used stills (photos) with music for drama? Maybe the stills faded into (crossfade) one another, or slowly panned across the screen. Well this is known as the Ken Burns effect.

It is called that because the famous documentary filmmaker Ken Burns uses the effect, I hate to say effect, in many of his films. His most recent film was entitled "The War", a seven part documentary that aired on PBS.

As I got into film making I used a lot of my photos in my work. At the time I didn't realize I was using the Ken Burns effect.

For photographers though it opens up new ways to express your photographic creativity. With inexpensive video editing tools you can take your images to a new level. You will even begin to shoot differently.

To show off your work you can burn them to DVDs for playing on large screen TVs or use YouTube or Flickr's new video function to display your work.

Keep the old camera clicking. There's nothing like a moment captured in time. But look for new ways to display those moments.

In some of my upcoming posts I will offer tutorials on how to do the Ken Burns effect and tools you can use.

As always please comment or visit and connect with me socially at


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