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Not Enough Focus

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.


From daily images