They usually fight with blurry pictures, considering them to be a marriage and getting rid of them with all their might. However, blurry or blurry pictures can be taken deliberately to add additional meaning to the photo or to create an aesthetic picture that goes beyond mere technical photographs. Read about how to smear photos so that it fascinates and you want to admire it, read in our material.
Blurry shots can be beautiful. Today, many photographers gravitate towards what could be called new impressionism — they shoot not technical pictures about “how it was”, but rather pictures about “how I feel and see it”. If you approach photography from this point of view, blurry, blurry, and generally a black square may well fall into the section of good photos.
Next, let’s talk about specific techniques that allow you to take not just blurry photos, but blurry photos that someone will admire.
Defocused picture and focus on the background
Lubrication for the transfer of swiftness of movement
Motion blur + flash
One of the simplest techniques in terms of technique when shooting with a relatively fast lens. We are used to the fact that if we shoot, for example, a person against the background of the sea, the sharpness should be on the person. The essence of the reception is just to ignore this rule.
The main thing when creating such pictures is to make the difference between an out-of-focus object and a clear background strong. So that the viewer does not have questions about whether this is a mistake. If the object falls out of focus just a little bit, there will inevitably be a feeling of marriage. You can enhance such pictures with the help of composition: not only make the figure of a person blurry, but also make it small relative to the background or move it to the edge of the frame.
Interesting pictures can be obtained at night by shooting the city lights and leaving the focus in front of them. For example, these are:
To get such a shot, turn on the manual focus mode and rotate it until the picture becomes interesting. The trick with this technique is that the lack of focus turns the lights into large spots.
When something moves quickly, our eye does not always have time to catch and examine the object, and it seems to us blurry. This effect is quite easy to simulate in a photograph using a slow shutter speed.
To create such pictures, you will need long exposures: 1/4, 1/2 and longer — in a few seconds. For such shootings, you will definitely need a tripod: so that only what should be smeared is smeared, and what should not remain sharp. Exposures of this length are almost impossible to hold by hand.
Motion blur can be used to capture trains, cars, amusement parks. All this will be beautifully smeared. There is a classic plot for shooting lovers: we choose a busy street, ask the couple to stand as still as possible and shoot for a shutter speed of 1–2 seconds.
Often this technique is used for shooting landscapes with streams, rivers and waterfalls. The water is washed out at a slow shutter speed, creating an interesting effect. True, with such shooting there are pitfalls — you can easily overexpose the picture. Close your aperture and use ND filters to avoid this.
Another use for long exposures is shooting stars. In order to get a beautiful picture with star tracks, very long shutter speeds are needed.
Astrophoto: how to shoot star tracks, the Milky Way, the Moon and the night landscape
The biggest challenge when shooting stars is to make a full circle. Here the problem arises with the fact that at slow shutter speeds the general scene of the landscape begins to light up. For example, in the picture above, the ships would definitely have been knocked out and the northern lights would not have been worked out so well. As a rule, several pictures are taken with an exposure of 10–20 minutes and then combined in Photoshop or StarStaX.
Olympus has a cheat mode — Live Composite, which allows you to take such shots in one frame. It is, for example, in the Olympus OM‑D Mark III. The bottom line is that when shooting in Live Composite, the camera fixes the initial exposure of the image, and then only adds additional luminous objects in those places where they were not on the source.
If you are not a happy owner of an Olympus, an ND filter can fix the overexposure situation.
You can get interesting effects from blurring not only by shooting moving objects, but also by waving the camera itself at a relatively slow shutter speed. Thus, you can get these surreal pictures:
Also, a special case of this approach can be called shooting with wiring. To get such shots, you need to shoot at a slow shutter speed, following a moving object. To do this, you need to lead the lens behind the athlete or car at the same speed as he moves.
An even more interesting effect can be achieved by combining shooting at a slow shutter speed with shooting with a flash. The essence of this technique is that you shoot a frame at a slow shutter speed (1–2 seconds, for example), objects are slightly smeared during this time. Then a flash flies from above, fixing and “freezing” in the last phase of his movement. Here are the pictures that come out:
Another nice bonus is that you can work here without a tripod. The motion blur of the hands in this case will enhance the surrealism, and the flash will still draw clear contours of what it hits.
The soft focus effect is another popular technique, close to what we talked about earlier. Soft focus is not a blur or an error in focus. This is a phenomenon that was common with older film lenses. Soft effect is uncorrected spherical aberrations. They result from the fact that the rays of light passing through the center of the lens and through the edges of the lens are focused in different places due to the shape of the lens.
The advent of modern sharp glasses made some photographers feel nostalgic, bored and want to return to soft focus.
Soft focus looks like a light fog in the photo, which softens the light pattern, making the whole picture more calm. For this, the soft focus effect is loved by portraitists, especially when it comes to a female portrait.
There are several basic ways to create a soft focus without additional equipment.
- use lenses with a soft focus effect (for example, the rare Canon EF 135 mm f / 2.8 Soft focus or Pentax SMC FA Soft f / 2.8) or monocles (lenses with only one lens, they are often converted from Soviet “Helios” );
– use special soft filters;
- take an ordinary protective filter, smear it with petroleum jelly or other greasy cream and remove it;
- pull tights on the lens (proven “grandfather” method).
So, to reiterate, blurry shots can be beautiful. The main thing is to be honest with yourself and remember that just a blurry photo is not art. It’s just a blurry photo. And if you are always blurring the focus and do not know how to choose the right shutter speed, this is not the style. This is a growth area.
By the way, we wrote about how to deal with blurs and underfocuses of various types here.
Beautiful blurry photos can be obtained by accident, but a separate kind of skill is when you know how to do it consciously.