Is sharpness overrated?

Started May 9, 2012 | Discussions thread
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Chuck Lantz
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Is sharpness overrated?
May 9, 2012

I've been going through some older film photos today, taken by pros and used in books, magazines and ads a few years ago, pre-digital. One thing I noticed was that many of the shots, including famous racing shots, lacked sharpness. What was accepted then would be heavily criticized today, or, worse yet, would be over-sharpened in PS to the point of zero realism.

Here's a shot being used now in a national Volvo cars ad. I know that the agency had many to choose from, some much sharper than the one selected, yet they went with this one. The only reason I became interested is because I'll be shooting their car this weekend at Laguna Seca. But the soft focus of the ad shot caught my attention, and I wanted to get some input from the group here.

(Sorry about the "hero" in the title of the photo. That was included by the agency, and does not refer to me)

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"If they're not screaming at you to get out of the way, you're not close enough" - I thought this was original, but it's very close to what someone else said. Oh, well.

"Not to compete whole-heartedly, with a will to win, degrades the sport and insults the competition" - anonymous Olympic long-distance runner

"Mongo not know ... Mongo just pawn in game of life." - Mongo

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