the blur


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night86mare

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#1
"sharpness is overrated". discuss.

i see a few people perpetuating the idea that blur pictures suck, that every picture must have absolute sharpness, pinpoint razor sharp to be good.

well here's my viewpoint; softness, OOF techniques can be used to bring out a mood, which is why you have always had soft focus filters in photography; and it is not limited to portraits. take a lot of this guy's pictures:

you gotta say yes to another excess
black melt

in fact, just look at his entire set here. i think you'd be inclined to agree that yes, sharpness is overrated. also, he obviously has done it deliberately.

art is subjective, and i hope all of us acknowledge that at the end of the day. so long as the message is conveyed, it doesn't matter what sort of equipment is used, a good picture is still a good one, there is by no means any measure as to how it can be good, least of all by any sharpness meter. cheers.
 

night86mare

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#3
someone's opinion on the net here that i quite like

Ranting on Sharpness
Contributed by James Haney
Last Updated Friday, 08 June 2007

Why I think that the obsessive pursuit of sharpness is grossly over emphasized.

Submitted for debate: Sharpness is overrated.

Slavish pursuit of sharpness is the crutch of the visually weak.

The pursuit of sharpness is the essence of missing the forest for the trees.

I know that it is generally good and an obvious expectation for photographs to be in focus, but I guess I have just matured to the point that I think that pursuing sharpness gets in the way of more important elements of making evocative images.

I have found more great images that are technically imperfect than I have found in all of the technically perfect images I have seen.

I was like most budding photographers when I was younger. The struggle of achieving technical competence makes you a slave to the technology and frankly focuses one on all the wrong things. The greatest struggle in the art of photography is not achieving technical competency, it is getting beyond technical competency. True, the focus of my subject matter changed from trees and rocks to portraiture, but I really don't think that matters.

I liken it to the difference between a pianist and a composer. One can perform great music, the other creates great music by understanding the nature of the instrument and pushing it to its limits to make something new and original. Do this: look through a bunch of photo books and find some work that you really admire. Now, notice what percentage of them is sharp. I was stunned when I did this exercise. At least 75% of the portraits I consider to be the best would I identify as sharp.

Ask yourself some questions:
Does the lack of sharpness detract from the effectiveness of good images?
Does the lack of sharpness contribute to the effectiveness of good images?
What makes an image great to you?
Can you find common elements that you are responding to?
What are your images saying?
What do you want them to say?
Pursue perfect images, not perfect technique.

A perfectly exposed, contact printed 8x10 negative that carries focus from foreground to background, has great tonal range, beautifully printed on silver rich bromide paper, archivally processed and selenium toned may be hard to do, but that doesn't make it art!
 

Zplus

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#5
Blur images from camera when Photog wanted sharp = sucky camera/lens

Blur images from camera when Photog wanted blur = good camera/lens

Blur images from camera & photographer which makes you go "Wow" = good photographer with good camera/lens

;)
 

Paul_Yeo

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#6
looking at blur images make me headache and giddy as if seeing things without my spectacles. :bsmilie:
 

hongsien

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#7
There is a japanese photogarpher (Hiroshi something) who took out of focus images of iconic buildings years ago.....despite the blurriness, one could still see what building it was.

HS
 

waileong

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#9
There is a japanese photogarpher (Hiroshi something) who took out of focus images of iconic buildings years ago.....despite the blurriness, one could still see what building it was.

HS
Try do that in CS and see wat u can get..:bsmilie:
Whose problem is that? Does the "criticism" of a bunch of ignorant shooters bother you?

I won't say sharpness is over-rated per se, rather that the problem is that people don't think before they shoot.

For instance, too many sports pictures here are shot frozen at 1/1000, creating people who seem to stop in mid-air, often with funny expressions. The photographers basically just shot on P, and delegated the choice of aperture and shutter speed to the camera. They never thought deeply about what they wanted to show. Would pictures with motion blur express the intensity of the game better? Would panning create a better way to show the sport?

Lets put it this way-- if you can show good motion blur in a picture where the context is appropriate, I think even the armchair critics here will have no ground to "criticise".
 

Deadpoet

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#10
OOF does not equate to soft focus.

Images can be soft, and for portraitures, some degree of softness, can be extremely pleasing. However, focusing must still be precise!!!
 

V

vince123123

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#11
Actually I don't find anything good about this guy's two pictures you've linked.

"sharpness is overrated". discuss.

i see a few people perpetuating the idea that blur pictures suck, that every picture must have absolute sharpness, pinpoint razor sharp to be good.

well here's my viewpoint; softness, OOF techniques can be used to bring out a mood, which is why you have always had soft focus filters in photography; and it is not limited to portraits. take a lot of this guy's pictures:

you gotta say yes to another excess
black melt

in fact, just look at his entire set here. i think you'd be inclined to agree that yes, sharpness is overrated. also, he obviously has done it deliberately.

art is subjective, and i hope all of us acknowledge that at the end of the day. so long as the message is conveyed, it doesn't matter what sort of equipment is used, a good picture is still a good one, there is by no means any measure as to how it can be good, least of all by any sharpness meter. cheers.
 

V

vince123123

Guest
#15
Yeap, each perception of beauty is different :) I was merely stating my viewpoint.

Beauty lies in the eye of the beholder, I find many of them quite nice.......simple, and he has quite a good composition

HS
 

Pablo

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#16
I remember a past CS member (student) showing many great examples on the subject of sharp/non sharp. :thumbsup:
 

night86mare

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#17
Blur images from camera when Photog wanted sharp = sucky camera/lens

Blur images from camera when Photog wanted blur = good camera/lens

Blur images from camera & photographer which makes you go "Wow" = good photographer with good camera/lens

;)
lol, seems like bs logic to me, shouldn't it be 1)technically lousy photographer, since nothing to do with camera/lens, and 2) technically sound photographer? hehehe.


looking at blur images make me headache and giddy as if seeing things without my spectacles. :bsmilie:
nothing wrong with that
for example, i look at mona lisa and i feel giddy, but it is still art :bsmilie:
sometimes, when i see a pretty girl and i feel giddy, but she is still pretty!
There is a japanese photogarpher (Hiroshi something) who took out of focus images of iconic buildings years ago.....despite the blurriness, one could still see what building it was.

HS
hrm, do you know his full name? shall do a quick search later on and see what the net turns up.
Try do that in CS and see wat u can get..:bsmilie:
 

night86mare

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#18
Lets put it this way-- if you can show good motion blur in a picture where the context is appropriate, I think even the armchair critics here will have no ground to "criticise".
while motion blur IS a type of blur

i'm actually thinking more on the seemingly deliberate oof pictures here
 

night86mare

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#19
OOF does not equate to soft focus.

Images can be soft, and for portraitures, some degree of softness, can be extremely pleasing. However, focusing must still be precise!!!
so what did you think of those oof buildings that i linked? or did you ever look at them at all :(

in any case, if i may try to paraphrase what you are saying, soft portraits are fine to you, but the softness must be within the control of the photographer?

what do you think of this?

or this?

or this? <-- contains nudity, btw, little boys and girls please don't click (i bet this induces little boys and girls to click even more, but it is blur so i guess it doesn't matter)

or this? :)
 

night86mare

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#20
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