Abstracts

blurred leavesClick on images for larger view.

Back in May I mentioned how much I like intentional blurs in photography, and featured two that I had created in post processing. Click here  and here if you’d like to see them. But I also make them in-camera, and this is the time of year when I tend to be out shooting them, when the flowers are becoming scarce and the weather is dreary (read low light), and I spend considerable time waiting around for birds at the bird sanctuary to do something other than just look pretty. Two things happened this week that made me think about blurs now in particular: I was talking to a fellow photographer and we got on the subject of intentional blurs and he mentioned a photographer who does a lot of them. In checking out her work, I was inspired to dig out my blur images and also to shoot some new ones. I also attended a watercolor painting demo by an artist I really like, and was inspired by him as well. Because I love to combine photography with painting, or at least make images that look painterly, intentional blurs really appeal to me because so often they look like paintings.

Apart from minor tonal adjustments in Lightroom (contrast, highlights, shadows, clarity, and a touch of vibrance on some), all of these images are as they came out of the camera. When shooting blurs I always take dozens of similar images because every one of them is different, and only a few tend to be worth keeping. I think my favorite in this group is the last one in the gallery…the clarity and transparency of the leaves appeal to me.

 

 

Woodland butterfly    Another Blurred Butterfly

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10 thoughts on “Abstracts

  1. I really like the effect. May be I should not be so trigger-happy on the delete button with some of my blurred images. I think what appeals to me most is the softness and gentleness of the colours and the hint of the leaves rather than the precision of any particular shape.

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    • Thanks, me too. 🙂 LOL re the trigger-happy part! I have an image of my horse that I’ve had from soon after I got my first digital camera. He’s galloping on a diagonal path toward me and the whole image is blurred. At the time I thought, what a shame — but I liked it in spite of it technically being a flawed image…and I could never bring my self to delete it. Now that I’m nurturing an appreciation for intentionally blurred images as an artform, that image of my horse is still flawed, but I can enjoy it now without dwelling on its shortcomings. Having said that, I believe successful blurs still tend to uphold the qualities inherent in a well-balanced image.

      Yes, I know what you mean about the softness and the subtleties and the suggestion of shapes…very appealing to me too. I did have to go through A LOT of images to get these ones. I probably deleted 90% or more of them. There’s a lot of trial and error involved, both in subjects and shutter speed, and I’ve only dabbled in it from time to time over the last couple of years. And I do love these soft colors, but I also have some with colors that will wake you right up, lol! With many dreary, colorless, wet weeks ahead, I am thinking a deeper study of intentional blurs might be just the thing to motivate me to bundle up and get out with my camera whatever the weather this winter. Naked trees, blurred, can make stunning images! 🙂

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  2. Glad you’ve posted these…. I particularly like 2, 6 and the last one. I have taken some intentional blurs to see how they came out, forgotten them, and now you have jogged my memory….I shall post soon! Like you, I do rather like the painterly effect. 🙂

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    • Thanks, Sue. 🙂 Interesting choice on the ones you like best… I liked the soft feather-look of #1, I thought 2 was interesting but not a favorite, I quite liked the color and squiggly lines of 6, but for me it was mostly about the last few…the colors — the dark reds, the browns, the muted greens — combined with the subtle leaf shapes just hit a note with me. Yesterday when I was shooting flowers and chickadees in the community garden plots, there were a number of splendid-looking clumps of red and yellow chard that I couldn’t resist blurring…and the color blends in those images are just yummy! Even a normal shot of the texture of the chard leaves with the colored veins screams for a spotlight. I may have to do a post on swiss chard, lol! Looking forward to seeing your blurs, Sue. :d

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    • I’d like to take credit, but not my original idea, I saw some intentional blurs online a couple of years ago which got me started experimenting, and then a conversation last week reminded me to look into doing more of them. But thanks, the colors and shapes are gorgeous, I’m glad you liked them too. 🙂

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