Do you want to make moving objects in your images produce vivid colour? Well, there’s a technique called “The Harris Shutter” that does just that! The method was first used by Robert “Bob” Harris from Kodak, hence the name. These days you make the effect in Photoshop after you have taken the picture, but when it was first developed you used film, and produced the effect in camera.
The original method involved exposing the same film frame for three separate exposures in sequence through three differently coloured filters; red, green and blue. The use of three filters gives strong primary colours to anything that moves during the exposure, whilst keeping the colours of the unmoving parts of the image unchanged. In the days of film it was important to keep the camera still during the exposure, and that still applies to today’s digital imaging.
With digital photography it’s a slightly different technique. You take three images, (such as the fountain images above), and open them in Photoshop. An image in Photoshop is made up of a Red, a Green and a Blue Channel. You duplicate the Red Channel from one image into a new file, duplicate the Green Channel from the second image into the new file, and finally duplicate the Blue Channel from the third image into the new file. This gives you three channels in a multi-channel image, and it looks very red overall. Using the “Mode” menu you then convert the multi-channel image to an RGB image, and the colours appear!
This is what you get, an image with primary colours where movement has occurred. In this case it might be called a “water colour”! The great advantage of using digital images is that you can choose which colour channel from each image you use. This means that you can get six different looks in your final image from one set of three images.
As with the images above, if you’ve got steady hands you don’t even need a tripod, so let Bob Harris lead you to a colourful place.