Why you Should use The Harris Shutter Effect
The Harris Shutter effect is a lot of fun to play around with when you’ve got some spare time and is an easy way to impress friends. This effect can be used in just about any situation where you can keep the camera steady and is a great way to show movement in a photo.
What is the Harris Shutter effect?
The Harris Shutter effect was created by Robert Harris of Kodak. The effect was originally created by re-exposing the same piece of film 3 times through 3 different colored filters while keeping the camera steady. The three colours used were red, blue and green (the colours of the spectrum) and in the areas where no movement takes place, those 3 colors combine to reproduce the original color. With the advent of photoshop and digital cameras, the whole thing can be done a lot easier and without the use of filters at all. This post will show you just how to produce the photo below.
How it’s done
All the photographer has to do is to take 3 color photos of a scene that has a small amount of movement in it and an object that remains constant. In my example above, I used the rising smoke out of a glass jar. The jar is the constant, and the smoke is the movement. For this effect to work best, the photos are taken in quick succession like the one’s i’m using below.
Step by step guide
After setting up the shot and choosing 3 photos, you want to open the first image up into photoshop, or alternatively, the free program I like to use called Gimp. It’s not as good as photoshop, but in many ways it does much the same, and is ideal for what we’re going to do here.
At this point you will only be seeing the blue photo, so to merge all 3 photos into 1, you need to open the layers dialog. To do this, it’s usually ‘ctrl-L’ or ‘cmd-L’. Once open, select the first of the top 2 layers and go to the dropdown box next to ‘Mode:’ and select ‘Addition’ as demonstrated below. Repeat for both. This will allow you to see all 3 photos at the same time as 1 image finishing the effect.