For many years the concept of crisp, sharp images was paramount. It lead to the development of a variety of image sharpening algorithms to suppress the effect of blurring in an image. Then tilt-shift appeared, and was in vogue for a while (it’s still a very cool effect). Here blur was actually being introduced into an image. But what about actually taking blurry images?
I have been experimenting this summer with adding blur to an image, either through the process of manually defocusing the lens, or by taking a picture of a moving object. The results? I think they are just as good, if not better than if I had “stopped the motion”, or created a crisp photograph. We worry far too much about defining every single feature in an image, and too little on a bit of creativity. Sometimes it would be nice to leave something in an image that inspires thought.
Here’s an example of motion-blur, a Montreal Metro subway car coming into a platform. It is almost the inverse of tilt-shift. Here the object of interest is blurred, and the surround area is kept crisp. Special equipment needed? Zip.