More than once on the blog I've mentioned that I prefer pictorialism to realism. I also prefer impressionism although I struggle for ways to express that in photography. One simple way however is through blurred images. This is an impressionistic street scene with not enough focus.
I shot this on my first outing with a new lens, the Sony 85mm 1.8. I didn’t purposely take this out of focus, it was a mistake, but I immediately liked it. It makes me think I should do more. I prefer images that leave something for the imagination; they are more engaging.
I use a variety of techniques to abstract images but rarely lack of focus. It’s a valid form of simplification and now I wonder why I haven’t used it more. I think maybe it’s because I’m normally preoccupied with ensuring focus is tack sharp. It’s hard to break that habit, but if done intentionally and for a specific purpose, lack of focus is a way to impart a feeling or impression.
It’s ironic that the most expensive lenses for photography are the ones that provide the most pleasing out of focus. The out of focus area produced by a lens is called “bokeh”. Reviewers will rave about the area of an image that is out of focus and how pleasing it is. The ability to focus a lens is a given, but to have out of focus areas at the same time, that’s another matter entirely.
In fact that’s why I bought this lens, because of its ability to create pleasing bokeh while maintaining sharp focus on something else. Only in this case nothing is sharp. I could say I did this on purpose but you know I didn’t. I like the effect but in this case it was not enough focus dot com.
Last week we stopped in the Bahamas on a weekend cruise from Miami. The harbor master tower is the first thing you see at dock. I think it was built before the ships got so big. I took this from a lower deck but you could look down on it from the upper decks and our ship was one of the smaller in port that day.
This continues on a theme of minimalism. Actually I've been on this theme for a while but I don't always publish the images. I do little studies, with lampposts, trees and buildings, shooting up to simplify the composition. Simplification is the gateway to minimalism; it also accentuates unique qualities of a thing or place.
This image creates an illusion of height, yet the building is no more than a few stories high and there are rooftops just below the frame. But because of how this is composed we imagine it much higher. Minimalism evokes imagination, which in-turn transcends realism.
Since I'm always on the lookout for these I'll likely put together a book at some point. I get ideas from looking at works of other photographers. One whom I follow on Instagram is Sebastian Weiss. Check him out at the link here https://www.instagram.com/le_blanc/
This kind of view is way of looking at the world that is focused on the isolation of something unique. I think we see beauty when we notice uniqueness. It's all around and all we need to do is narrow our view until we recognize it; at least that my current theory.
This past weekend I took an excursion to a secluded beach on Longboat Key. At least I thought it would be secluded. As it turned out I was only one of about a dozen photographers there. One was doing an engagement shoot, one a maternity shoot, a couple were shooting landscapes and finally a camera club showed up as well. There was a spectacular sunset so I’m pretty sure everyone got good shots and left happy. I know I did.
This beach is only accessible by boat or hike; it’s not right off the highway like most beaches in this area. At less trafficked shorelines like this you can usually see remnants of past hurricanes. There are spots like this up and down the coast if you know where to look. They are reminders of big events, especially as it pertains to tropical storms altering the landscape of the coast.
This was one of my last shots before hiking back. I got plenty of others but the simplicity of this scene is what I was drawn to. It’s rare that trees or stumps are isolated so I’m always on the lookout for them as photographic subjects. Simplicity resonates in images because it naturally invites interpretation.
At low tide the beach is exposed where these trees stand, but this was high tide and the beach was completely covered by the sea. However I was standing at a line of mangroves that protect the rest of the island from erosion. If it weren’t for the mangroves there would be nothing left of barrier islands along the coast of Florida.