A Praise to Blurredness

Started Jun 2, 2013 | Discussions thread
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JeanPierre Martel Veteran Member • Posts: 3,076
A Praise to Blurredness

A couple of weeks ago, a fellow Canadian (FrankS009) has suggested to me to give a look to the book “Within the Frame” written by David duChemin. (Thanks Frank)

Looking to the images shown in that book, I was surprised that many of them were blurred. They were not examples of failed shots but, on the contrary, examples shown as successful photos (in spite of movement blur).

Surprised by the ring

This has reminded me of the photo (above) that I’ve decided _not_ to include in a slideshow after a long hesitation. It shows a pedicab in La Havana that grabs the attention of youngsters back from school with its horn. But it has also surprised the photograph himself.

In spite of its motion blur (more obvious when the photo is seen full size), it’s a shot that speaks, that tells a story. The asymmetric (yet equilibrated) composition, the different roles played by the hands, the spontaneous attitudes, everything pleases me in this shot.

However, since I already had nearly 300 “good” shots in the slideshow, I’ve decided to avoid controversy and discard that picture.

The Shanghai Lovers

During a warm evening night, I’ve catch a two kissing lovers on my way back to my hotel in Shanghai.

With an half a second exposure time (while I was still walking), it was unavoidable: the shot was blurred.

But the vibrant colors and the whirling motion of lights suggest the dizziness of a kiss more than could any perfectly still picture. Moreover, the blur takes out the voyeurism inherent to such intimate photographic subject.

Objectively, this is a failed shot. Because blur is to photography what apostasy is to religion.

However, looking at these two shots, I can’t avoid but recall Henri Cartier-Bresson’s words: “Sharpness is a bourgeois concern”, so far from our modern obsessions…

 JeanPierre Martel's gear list:JeanPierre Martel's gear list
Olympus E-M5 II Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 75mm F1.8 Olympus 12-40mm F2.8 Leica Nocticron 42.5mm Olympus 40-150mm F2.8 Pro +23 more
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