Blur vs sharp

August 17, 2019

Anyone with any camera can take a sharp picture. Snap. It's done. Anyone can take a shot that is out of focus--like this one a tourist shot of me, using my camera. 

Which I happen to like.


At the opening of my recent show "Crossings," which features quite a few images which are motion-blurred, one of the visitors to the cafe gallery pointed to one image from the Amsterdam cyclist series in which the rider is identifiable, saying he preferred this one as he could "relate" to it. 

I didn't pursue this preference, and we moved on to another photo, but later I thought about what he'd said: He related to it.

To what: a human being? A woman he has never met? A recognizable scene? 


Of course we need to see things clearly to function, to survive and thrive. But in photography, clarity comes with one huge misunderstanding: that we have captured the real, a truth, when really, as Richard Avedon observed, "All photographs are accurate. None of them are the truth." Perhaps, to me, in this series, I find my take on truth to be the joy in movement--mine, and the subject's.  


I've recently returned to using an ND 3.0 filter, which allows only 0.1% of the light (a 10-stop reduction in the metered value). So that I can shoot a 2 or 4 second exposure in daylight. 

I don't know what draws me to this imagery. I mumbled something at the opening about my background as a filmmaker, about capturing more than the "decisive moment": the indecisive moment? 

What do you think of intentionally blurred images? 







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