Trippy Example of Hitchcock Zoom Shot on a Beach

Dolly zoom” is a technique that was popularized by Alfred Hitchcock in his film Vertigo, after which it was commonly referred to as “Hitchcock zoom” and the “vertigo effect”. The basic idea is to photograph (or film) a subject while moving towards or away from it, and at the same time changing the focal length to keep the subject at the same size in each frame. French photographer Micaël Reynaud used this technique on a beach last year, snapping photos of a stone block at focal lengths ranging from 24mm when he was closest to it to 840mm when he was farthest away.

He then turned the images into this trippy animated GIF showing the “Hitchcock effect”:

It’s an interesting example showing how different focal lengths can affect your perception of a particular scene.

Image credits: Photographs by Micaël Reynaud

  • Steve Waugh

    just as Nancy replied I am taken by surprise that someone able to profit $6386 in one month on the computer. have you read this page ===>>

  • James Allotment

    Sometimes also called a “contra-zoom” or “trombone effect”

  • Persio Pucci


  • Ben Marshall

    this is a very simple effect to use if you have Magic Lantern, and use the overlap ghost tool… which allows you to use the current frame in your viewer during playback, simply press the Live View button on your camera (canon obviously) and then line up your shot with your new zoom level… works amazing for this and for 3-d photos as well.

  • Danny

    Yes, and if your technique needs a bit of practice it’s referred to as the Rusty Trombone. 

  • Joey Duncan

    We’re not interested in your “simple” “effect” in your little program…. :-P I kid, I kid. 

  • Chaz Smith

    brass doesn’t rust, says the chemistry nazi

  • No

    Spielberg did a “Trippy Example of a Hitchcock Zoom Shot on a Beach” back in 1975:

  • Mr Lu

    RUST: a: the reddish brittle coating formed on IRON especially when chemically attacked by moist air and composed essentially of hydrated ferric oxide
    b: a comparable coating produced ON A METAL OTHER THAN IRON by corrosion,

    says the language nazi ;-)

    – different alloys of brass have different corrosion properties and generally when compared to ferrous alloys the speed is very slow, but even brass does corrode, e.g. “rusts”

  • 9inchnail

     It’s not a program, it’s a custom firmware for various Canon cameras that adds some cool functions and is totally free.

  • mythbuster

    The animated gif too quick just after meal… got sick!

  • Erik Lauri Kulo

    He should’ve done it without people in it… it’s annoying as hell.

  • kendon

    focal lengths do not change perspektive, changing the point of view does.

  • 9inchnail

     That’s why it’s called “vertigo”

    “Vertigo is a type of dizzyness where there is a feeling of motion when one is stationary”

  • David Dvir

    It’s cool, but if I was going to the effort of doing this I would have done it with no people and also would have at least fixed the colour balance so it matches throughout… :/ – small amounts of additional effort given the amount already put it, although yes, it’s a cool gif :)

  • lwmcanada

    These replies are awesome. lol

  • mythbuster

     wiki… what? please let me know how to see that wiki thing ;-)

  • Steve B

    Hey Joey, how about we be nice to people who are interested in this discussion. They may come from all different skill levels, cameras and perspectives.

  • theart

     The two are not independent.

  • kendon

    not sure which two you mean out of the three nouns in my post. i tend to say “yes they are” nevertheless.

  • theart

     Given a constant subject size, you cannot change point of view without changing focal length, and you cannot change focal length without changing point of view. Thus, for practical purposes focal length and point of view are not independent.

  • kendon

    with the limitation of a constant subject size you are right, (absolute) subject size is not covered by the definition of perspective though. the article has been edited in the meantime btw.

  • Alfie

    what a useless example all it does is make the viewer (me) feel sick. TURN OFF THE LOOP you morons whoever made this stupid clip…. The point of the zoom is that it has a start and end frame, therein lies “the effect”