Thursday, June 5, 2008

Losing Focus or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Blur

Last month I participated in Nectar and Light's monthly Photo Trade. The theme was Losing Focus: Find beauty in the blur. The idea was to share photographs in which the main subject was out of focus.

I have tried intentionally blurring the main subject of my photos before, here and there. But, more often than not, I've had camera shake, subway vibrations, crowd jostle, and miscalculated shutter speed to thank for my lack of focus, though on occasion those misfortunes lead to an interesting shot.

Last month, however, I systematically set out to get the most out of my blur. It was actually very liberating not to have to worry about focus at all.


Sometimes, in blurring the intended subject of my shot, I ended up with new focus altogether.


I even experimented with the (extremely scientific) technique of swinging my camera around madly in the 8th Street subway stop to see what sort of effect the camera's movement would have this on mural of a woman in the rain.


All in all, it was a very satisfying month of experimenting with blur. And to top it all off, I received this lovely photo in the mail the other day.

June's Photo Trade theme is Into the Light: Learn to love flare. I haven't come up with anything yet, but I'm working on it.

12 comments:

Kacey said...

Sometimes a bit of blur can make for a very interesting photo, can't it? I'm really liking the subway blur one. Different.

maya said...

Those are all fun!

I keep wanting to participate in that, but I'm such a procrastinator and I think I have enough on my plate...

Ashkon said...

Love the soccer shot!

amy said...

embrace the blur! especially in low light situations!
and the 'nectar and light' swap always looks so interesting, but how do you find the time to do all of that!?!?

Sabrina said...

I love a little blur sometimes. I just wish I could have a bit more control over when it happens.
Cool photos...and I love the thought of your scientific photo technique at the subway stop.

Robin said...

I LOVE that blurred skyline! It's so dreamy and you can still tell exactly what it is!
I'm going to NY later this summer, I want to try to take one like it!

Name/URL said...

Blur is good...well if done right. This years winner of World Press Photo was an out of focus blurry photo of a soldier.
http://www.worldpressphoto.org/

Anil P said...

A lost focus might actually make one focus on it.

Shelli said...

I like them all!

Chessa said...

I like to call this "bokeh goodness" Actually...thanks for the inspiration! I'm going to blog about this today too. The photos here are very cool...
:)

molly said...

i love the title of this post: the blur CAN be beautiful.

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