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A blurry photo with a focus!

Dance Improvisation at a PenJa’m session!

The Power of a Blurry Photo!

It’s not always the case when a blurry photo is a complete disaster. Photo’s are about emotion and feeling. And sometimes a blurry picture can enhance the mood of the photo.

People move, they are alive and are constantly doing things. In this respect a photo is a strange thing as it stills time. It freezes time and the movement with it. Often we want a sharp picture to show clearly what’s happening on the photo. The photo is regarded as a document, a memory of the moment.

A fake memory though. As the party you took the photo was alive, with people dancing, talking, eating, doing things. People in movement. A photo is a captured memory with a lie. It always lies as it is not inherent to the reality. Nothing is though. Even film, a photo that moves, is only showing part of the reality and when edited a world on it’s own.

The blurry picture is interesting though and I think as long as you have a story to tell an unfocused picture is not bad at all. There is no definition for a succeeded photo. Lots of guru’s will tell you all kind of stuff about the technical aspects of photography. They love to talk about aperture, shutter speed, ISO, and all the other geeky stuff on your camera. But they seldom talk about photography.
It’s like talking about cars, but not about driving!

The Blurry Picture seen as a great photo!


Maybe it started with the invention of the movie. The moving picture! Hundreds of blurry photo’s in succession becoming a film.

Cubists like Picasso and Braque used the film as an inspiration. And tried to put the movement into the painting by painting the same object from different angles on top of each other.
Marcel Duchamp who started out with cubist and futuristic paintings researched movement as well, leading to the famous painting of a women descending the stairs. Gerhard Richter did the same thing years later.

Both pictures above are painted though. But it shows, especially the one from Gerhard Richter, how the blurred image can capture the motion.


The blurry image as a bridge between reality and fiction.


The blurred photo blurres the border between reality and fiction too. May we be lured into the thought that a sharp photo is the reality, a blurred picture gives us room for fantasies. Like a memory.

A blurred photo is often dreamy…and like the stuff as dreams are made on…
It asks us unconscionably to fill in the gaps. To make the story. And yes, finally we arrive at the most important word of all : STORY

As long as the story is good the photo can be blurred. As long as the composition is good the photo can be blurred. In the end there are no rules that make a good picture. The only rule perhaps for a good picture is that it has to transmit an emotion!