And we always talk about wanting 'sharp' 'sharp' 'sharp'


pinholecam

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Jul 23, 2007
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#1
Very interesting and moving site/series.

I knew of this series of photos a few years back.
Was moved by its photos and notes, but then forgot about it.
Recently, I was reminded of this series during a forum post, and I looked through the photos again.

It dawned on me that many of the shots were not critically sharp or in focus.
But so what.
It was the capture that was important and the narration that gave it the context.

And we often talk about our shots needing razor sharpness, further accentuated by processing.....

Phillip Toledano - Days with My Father


Food for thought...
 

chipvn

Senior Member
Aug 26, 2010
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#2
Thanks Pinholecam for sharing that series! A live story! And yes, food for thought ...!
 

hjbyeo

Senior Member
May 5, 2006
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#3
JK, thanks for sharing this.

There are photographers in CS that's not looking at those pin-sharp images as well. An example will be clubsnapper - will03, whose shots always got a great feel to it, even without the typical sharpness I see in the Landscapes and Travel photos. It's really not about how sharp the window on the fifth floor of the HDB is and how much details I see in the rocks! Do check his threads out. I enjoyed his photography immensely.

At the end of the day, I guess it's about what you want to present, and sharpness/details only contribute to part of the whole equation.

That said, I won't mind a bit if the lens / camera is capable of capturing those details. ;-)
 

Nov 25, 2010
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#6
photography style has no right or wrong, it depend on the theme, for business portrait sharpness will be a request, for street not necessary. If sharpness and clarity is not a requirement then a good compact camera can do the job need no expensive camera gear in fact a mobile phone can do a good job too
 

edutilos-

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Dec 28, 2010
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#7
photography style has no right or wrong, it depend on the theme, for business portrait sharpness will be a request, for street not necessary. If sharpness and clarity is not a requirement then a good compact camera can do the job need no expensive camera gear in fact a mobile phone can do a good job too
I don't think you get the point. The point is not that we should stop caring about sharpness, but that sharpness isn't a requirement for a good photograph.

Just like if someone states that you shouldn't equate money to happiness, that doesn't mean that he is suggesting that you give everything you have away?
 

Nov 25, 2010
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#8
I don't think you get the point. The point is not that we should stop caring about sharpness, but that sharpness isn't a requirement for a good photograph.

Just like if someone states that you shouldn't equate money to happiness, that doesn't mean that he is suggesting that you give everything you have away?
you got it right man, just like expensive gear is not everything simple equipment can always produce good work
 

sfoto100

Senior Member
Nov 29, 2009
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#9
that's why Sion advised one guy to go study art school instead of photography school in one thread in kopitiam..

of course i can't deny the right of those who like tecnically correct pics.. must be sharp, properly exposed.. ...
 

oceanpriest

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Apr 24, 2010
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Ghim Moh
#10
“Sharpness is a bourgeois concept” -- Henri Cartier-Bresson
 

oceanpriest

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Apr 24, 2010
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#11
Some of Robert Capa's pics are not sharp, yet still enjoyable. Slightly Out of Focus is ok ;)


Robert Capa took over 100 photographs during the landing on Omaha Beach.
Unfortunately, a darkroom technician, eager to see photographs of the invasion, dried the film too fast.
The heat melted the emulsion, ruining all but 10 frames.
http://pinterest.com/JanaN8345/robert-capa/
 

Ahren

New Member
Jan 3, 2009
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#13
Some of Robert Capa's pics are not sharp, yet still enjoyable. Slightly Out of Focus is ok ;)
True true,,,I feel is the overall capture of the intent/emotions of what the photo is portraying that makes it enjoyable.

I know for sure if I was landing in Omaha beach during WWII. Not amount of camera shake reduction will help me, as I will be literally shaking with fear,
 

edutilos-

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Dec 28, 2010
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#14
Some of Robert Capa's pics are not sharp, yet still enjoyable. Slightly Out of Focus is ok ;)
In fact, I do feel that the blur of remaining photos of the Omaha Beach series actually make it more enjoyable. It gives it an ethereal haunting quality. War is surreal after all, in its own right.

I actually started a thread on this a while back, with reference to Rosenthal's excellent series, Seen & Not Seen.

FILE Magazine Project - Seen and Not Seen by Ken Rosenthal

Hiroshi Sugimoto's Architecture of Time series is also another great example of fuzzy photos with a sharp concept.
 

oceanpriest

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Apr 24, 2010
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#15
and also Daido Moriyama's are, bure, boke (grainy, blurry, out-offocus) style ;)
 

jfxberns

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Oct 18, 2012
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#16
Some of Robert Capa's pics are not sharp, yet still enjoyable. Slightly Out of Focus is ok ;)
Capa's D-Day beach invasion photos were probably pretty sharp to begin with, but in the rush to get them to the press, a photo assistant put the negative in a dryer after developing and turned the heat up... causing the film emulsion to run and completely destroying all but eleven frames.
 

edutilos-

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Dec 28, 2010
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#17
Capa's D-Day beach invasion photos were probably pretty sharp to begin with, but in the rush to get them to the press, a photo assistant put the negative in a dryer after developing and turned the heat up... causing the film emulsion to run and completely destroying all but eleven frames.
Not entirely.

Please read the link. Omaha Beach, Normandy, France (Getty Museum)

Although Capa shot 72 images that day, all but eleven were ruined when the negatives were placed in an overheated film drying cabinet in a London lab. The images that survived appear grainy and blurry, partly due to this error, and partly due to Capa's nerves.
From his book, he said that he felt:

"a new kind of fear shaking my body from toe to hair, and twisting my face."
 

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