Sea Blue Lens

Blurred Vision

10 Comments

Coming and Going

Coming and Going

Hi — I’m back! I didn’t deliberately set out to take a month-long blogging break, but that’s pretty much what happened. Don’t know why, but I guess I must have needed it.

I can’t say I’ve got any deep thoughts or dramatic breakthroughs to report upon my return. But since my Word for 2013 is Explore, I thought I’d jump in with Kat Sloma’s Exploring With a Camera. Each month, Kat offers up a lesson on an aspect of photography, with clear explanations, how-to’s, and plenty of examples. This month’s exploration was “artistic blur.”

I spend a great deal of effort in trying to get my photos to be as sharp as possible. The concept of trying to blur a photo by moving the camera around during exposure, for example, or by deliberately not focusing before capturing an image is difficult for me to grasp. I tried some experiments for this lesson but, sad to say, they were not successful. However, in looking through my archives I found that I do use other types of blur to create the effect I want in a photo.

Desert Willow

Desert Willow

In this photo, I used a shallow depth of field to hint at the setting of this desert willow, but the blossom is clearly the subject.

Eventide

Eventide

In this case, even though it’s the grass that’s in focus, it leads my eye to the cottage in the background. For me, the cottage in the soft, warm evening light, with its sense of peace and quiet solitude, is the real subject of the photo.

Summer Storm

Summer Storm

I took this photograph because of the blur caused by a brief but intense summer rain pouring down the window.

Window Waves

Ripples in Time

While this image was taken on another rainy day, the blurred distortion of the clapboards is caused not by rain but by the wavy antique glass of the window that I was shooting through.

Ripples In Time

Water World

These are ripples of a different sort. The water in this cove seemed very calm, but the blurred reflection tells another story. This is one of my favorite reflection photos.

Downtown

Downtown

In this image of the Los Angeles skyline taken from the Angeles Crest Highway, the mountains and distant city are blurred by mist and rain.

Slow Water

Slow Water

This blurred water is caused by using a slow shutter speed, a common technique used by landscape photographers to give moving water that milky effect. To be honest, it’s not something I do often, but I was experimenting with it one day and this was the result. To me, milky water looks very unnatural; I prefer to freeze the motion, leaving the water clear. But I did enjoy trying and comparing the effects of different shutter speeds on this occasion, and I’ll experiment more with it in the future.

Spots and Stripes

Spots and Stripes

This effect was achieved by shooting through a flowering shrub. Focusing on the bird beyond caused the foliage to blur into a translucent wash of color. I’d like to say I did this on purpose, but I was quite surprised by the result when I downloaded the images.

Illumination

Illumination

The blur here is caused simply by hand-holding the camera. The interior of this church was very dark so the shutter speed was slow. It’s sharper than I expected to get, but I like the softness of the glowing candles.

Angry Squirrel

Angry Squirrel

Autumn Gold

Autumn Gold

My apartment in Maine backed up to the edge of a river, and I had wonderful views from my windows. I took a lot of photos through those windows, with more or less success. These are two of my favorites. I was shooting through a double paned window and a screen, which gave these images a soft-focus effect that I like.

The Blues

Singin’ the Blues

Car window + Raindrops + Reflected Sky + Wide Open Lens. Once I’d have just thrown this away, but I like it. So with this little abstract, I’ll close my exploration for now and go link up with Exploring With a Camera: Artistic Blur. I think I’ll make it just under the wire.

10 thoughts on “Blurred Vision

  1. So glad you are back!
    I love these examples of artistic blur. Each image makes use of blurring in a very effective way, drawing my focus to just where it needs to be. Your talent as a photographer really shows in these examples.

  2. Welcome back, Lee! Your collection of blurry images has great variety — a fun exploration. I really like the eventide and the wavy glass pix — both lovely in their own ways, but my fave is water world. I am always drawn to water images and this is just beautiful! Hope to see you more frequently.

  3. Yay! I’m glad you aren’t just throwing those gorgeously blurry photos away. I think the best part of this exploration is you’ve found the artistic blur that works for you. It looks like “shooting through” is your favorite! You’ve got many great examples of it here. I think we all have our favorite artistic blur effects. I love motion and shooting through, but for some reason, I don’t do a lot of out-of-focus blur. I just can’t get myself interested. Thanks for sharing in Exploring with a Camera! Happy to have you exploring with me this year.

  4. Wonderful set of images. That first one though is really cool 🙂

  5. Lee – glad to have you back – have missed your voice and your images. And you rocked this assignment. Lovely examples all. I’m like you – can’t quite figure out how to move the camera to get purposeful blur – but I love reflections and shooting through rain. Really love “Summer Storm” with sheets of water pouring down the window, distorting everything. And whether it was on purpose or not, love the transluscent effect of shooting through the bush. Beautiful and inspiring examples.

  6. These are all really cool! I like your new cover photo too. 🙂

  7. Wow! You have a fantastic collection of artistic blur!! I love them all but seem to be really drawn to the ripples in time. I love the look of antique glass! I also love the comings and goings and summer storm. Good to see you again!

  8. Oh…I love your Summer Storm! The browns and greens…the thick blurred ripples. Love it!

  9. First thank you for coming by my blog…..I am also enjoying rejoining Kat with her monthly inspirations. I am GAGA over your Summer Storm and Water World (the color in the two is simply scrumptious) …the birdies are a close second. You discovered so many wonderful examples of Blur….I still want to do the “plastic over the lens.” Isn’t it nice to “legitimatize” BLURRRRRRRRR….smiles; Sharon

  10. You’ve got some really great shots here. I was bummed when I looked into January’s post, blur is one of my favorites. I’ll get in for February.
    Missed you. My pc went down last summer and I never got back into the momentum until this year – I took about a six month blogging break 😦 . Hope you are doing well..

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