OK, so this creative group of which I’m a member had an assignment this past month to work with selective focus, or out of focus, images. I typically work with selective focus a lot with my flower/foliage images, so that was not a particular challenge to me. But making pictures entirely out of focus that work was definitely a challenge for me. I had done it once before. I gave myself the assignment to shoot four rolls of film with every picture out of focus – yet at a point at which I thought it still worked. I got two images that I was happy with – and so was the stock agency who selected them! But it’s been a while and so I faced the assignment with some hesitation – ok, make that a lot of hesitation! Various things ran through my head, like “I’m way to busy to be fussing around with making out of focus pictures”, or “I can wait until the end of the month because it will be a piece of cake to do this”. Yet even though it’s true that I’m way to busy trying to get ‘real’ work done before my photo tour in Italy, I had to give it a shot – or five. I remembered after I began just how hard it was the first time around! Your brain wants to put it all in focus – and you have to visualize whether the the shapes, colors, shading, etc. all work. You have to be willing to take the risk and keep it out of focus, fight the urge to bring it in clearer.
I selected this one for the blog because I really like the high-key effect of the hazy light on the beach, and I really think you get the sense of beachcombing/walking and family from this picture. It was a plus that they were reflected in the wet sand. I made this on my Canon G9, while we were working the dog out at the beach last Sunday. But now I wish I had used my larger camera! I might actually be on to something of a series with these…and just for the record, I saw an exhibit in a NYC gallery about 6 years where the guy had huge prints on the wall that were all out of focus. But when you walked into the room, you knew what they were. And he was selling them for several thousand dollars. Go figure!
Thank you Stephan – your comments are great and truly appreciated as more food for thought on this out of focus idea…
Excellent work Brenda! Great bokeh! Enough detail to clearly see (imagine) that a parent (or brothers and sisters) is (are) enjoying precious time with their children (family)… or friends… Regardless… A perfect moment…
I am reminded of a great saying, “If you cannot see us… focus…” If I take my glasses off, this is about what I see as being nearsighted. Having this vision, has produced some ideas for painting and photography. Purposely capturing it… that definitely is not the norm, but is fun and very creative to do.
A great lesson, exercise and assignment to allow sight beyond seeing… to discover something beyond the obvious… or to show others a different world or perspective. Again, “Excellent work Brenda!” BTW: Have a great trip!
Thanks, Stephan – appreciate your insightful comments here. If I remove my glasses this is about what I see, too – at that distance anyway!
Thanks, John! You’ll do great, I just know it. 🙂
Excellent image Brenda and thanks for the inspiration. I am going to add this idea to my list of things to try and do! 🙂
Yes, it is a challenge, Scott! We laughed at the prospect of the assignment, but when you look back in history early days of photography, there were many pictures that were soft focused – because of the equipment, yes, but now they are considered classics. In the end, everyone at the group liked this image of the beach, too. I’m inspired enough to go back there with my larger camera and work this idea.
Slow moving pans are also neat – hard, but great when they work! I’ll look forward to seeing it.
This is a tough challenge. I’m still working on making sure I get what I want IN focus. 🙂 It’s like an impressionists water color though which is intriguing.
How about a slow panned shot? I’ll let you know how it comes out.