Friday, March 14, 2014

Motion blur London nightime skyline

click photo to enlarge
Too many photographers, it seems to me, obsess about how sharp their camera/lens combination is. This is particularly prevalent among those new to photography. The fact is, very few photographs are ever judged deficient because they are not sharp enough. Sharpness is not usually one of the primary requisites for a good image. There are exceptions - macro photography and some kinds of landscape photography, for example, need sharpness to reveal the detail that contributes a lot to the final image. But most genres don't require the knife-edge sharpness that is too often thought desirable.

There's certainly a case to be made for the painterly effects produced by older lenses that exhibit a little softness. They can be useful for portraits, landscapes, flowers and many other subjects. There's also much to be said for blur caused by deliberately defocusing the subject. And then there's motion blur. I have a collection of photographs that I've put together where I've deliberately set a slow shutter speed to blur the subject (see these boots, this river and these reflected trees for example. I also have some where I've purposely moved my hands having set a slow shutter so that the image is traced across the frame. This effect can even occur serendipitously by accident.

Today's photograph is an example of the latter (purposeful) technique where I deliberately moved my hands from left right and up and down as I took the shot. It was taken at the same time as the smaller photograph on this recent post. I had an idea of what the camera might produce but only an idea - one is never entirely sure. What I didn't imagine was that it would produce such sharp motion blur!

photograph and text © Tony Boughen

Camera: Sony RX100
Mode: Aperture Priority
Focal Length: 37.1mm (100mm - 35mm equiv.)
F No: f4.9
Shutter Speed: 1.6 sec
Exposure Compensation: -0.3 EV
Image Stabilisation: On