Focus Shmocus

If you’re anything like me, you might often find yourself in a rut with your photography and just don’t know what to take photos of. So how do we get inspired? I have found one of the best ways to get inspired and stir up some excitement with my photos is to think outside the box. Do something different, something you’re not used to – that will require you to see things from a different perspective.

I joined a Flickr group a number of years ago called “Don’t Be Afraid of the Blur”. It opened up a whole world and hours of fun photo taking.

Basically… take blurry photographs! Switch your lens from auto focus to manual and explore the world of images outside the range of clear focus.  You can even aim your lens through glass bottles, the viewfinders of old medium format cameras, or off reflections in storefront windows!

Kailua Beach-2By manipulating focus you can create an atmosphere with your photographs that you may otherwise not be able to achieve. You may begin to think more about how the photograph makes you feel, as with these  shots I took on the beach one sunny day in Hawaii.

For these photographs, the blur gave me a nostalgic atmosphere. I makes me think of my childhood growing up on the beaches of the Jersey shore. They have a sense of the beachcarefree nature of childhood on the shores of a vast open future. In other words, it helped create a context that otherwise was might not have been there had the image been in focus.

Explore the different ways you can take your image into new and exciting places by manipulating focus as a tool and watch your focus change as you create new avenues to wander. This simple technique allowed me to loosen up, not worry so much about getting “the perfect shot”, and got me having fun taking photos.



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