Category Archives: Lartigue Effect

Scavenger Hunt Sunday – Light to Afternoon

It’s time for Scavenger Hunt Sunday hosted by Ashley Sisk.

Something Colorful

IKEA Colors

IKEA is an amazing place for color and all sorts of funky stuff. I’ve never bought anything there but I sure love to take my camera. Good thing they don’t charge admission.



This is the plaza where I work. It is pretty well lit with all different light sources including several natural gas lights.



Yep that’s me. I have an inexpensive camera that has several interesting special effects built in. My favorite is the “Negative” mode. This is a shadow shot of me, in negative. My regular readers indulge me greatly in this.

In Motion

Roaring Down the Freeway

The same camera I used for the shadow shot doesn’t have a shutter. That’s right, remember that I said that it was inexpensive, so that is one way they saved money on it. The picture button just starts the sensor scanning. So if the object I’m taking a picture of is in motion then the pic will be distorted. This is called the Lartigue effect named after a Frenchman of that name who discovered the effect in the late 19th century.

The Lartigue effect works on a stationary object if you move the camera.


This is a photograph from the same camera, in negative mode, when I made the camera move back and forth while pressing the button. Simple things for simple minds is what I say.


Afternoon on Arkansas River

I love late afternoons when the sun is still pretty well up but the light is coming in on an angle. This was taken on the east bank of the Arkansas River looking west.

Scavenger Hunt Sunday

Ruby Red Truck Wheels – Lartigue Style

Truck Tires with Red Rims Lartigue Effect

I had a business trip to Oklahoma City last week. A coworker was driving and I had my Takashi 521 FX special effects camera along. As we passed vehicles I tried to capture their wheels to get the Lartigue distortion effect possible with the camera. I had a very low batting average what with the shutter delay and all.

I did get these wheels. Luckily they were red, after a little boosting from they were Ruby Red.

Ruby Tuesday

Lartigue Effect

We have got all sorts of stuff going on in Tulsa these days.  The city doesn’t know whether to lean to the right,

or lean to the left, or


Or just kind of shimmy in place.


So what’s happening? I know the wind blows here in Oklahoma, but not that much.


I have a cheap camera. The Takashi 521 digital lomo camera. It has all sorts of special effects built into a camera with a plastic lens. One thing this camera doesn’t have though is a shutter. That’s right no shutter. You press the button the sensor gets scanned is all. So that means that if I move the camera while pressing the button the things that the camera sees get distorted.

In a regular camera with a shutter you don’t get that. You get a blur. Blur can be fun, but not that much fun.

This distortion is called the Lartigue effect after Jacque Henri Lartigue, a french dude, who used a “focal plane shutter.” to invent the effect. Here is an example of his work:

Check out the link. He was cool! The main thing is that I love the term “focal plane shutter.” That is like one of the most wonderful pieces of jargon I have heard in a long time. I have no idea what it means. I’m going to use it a lot. I mean talk about authority. For instance, somebody talks about plumbing problems I’m going to shut them up by saying that until they get a Focal Plane Shutter installed they are going to continue to have the same problem.

Those of you who don’t have cheap camera will have to pay big bucks to get a focal plane shutter. That’s what you get for having fancy stuff like shutters on your camera. My shutterless piece of junk can get the same effect using the scan rate of the sensor. Aren’t you jealous? You should be.