Welcome to (The Occasional) Photo Tip of the Day! Please also visit my main site jeffwignall.com. Text and photographs Copyright 2016 Jeff Wignall.

“The best way out is always through.”

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Don't Be a Slave to Sharpness

When it comes to image quality, I probably spend more time and effort on getting pictures sharp than anything other than technical consideration other than exposure. I use a tripod religiously, always check my shutter speeds and, with action subjects, I wait for the peak of action to shoot. But not every subject calls for a perfectly sharp picture and, in fact, some call for just the opposite.

I shoot a lot of concerts and while I always try to get nice sharply focused shots of the performers, if they have a really active stage presence, I often slow the shutter speed down and try to intentionally blur some frames. I've photographed Professor Louie (shown here) many times and I've got hundreds of sharp photos of him, but during this particular show the light was kind of low and I knew that once he started rocking out, getting sharp pictures was going to be tough. Instead of fighting the situation, I decided to slow the shutter speed to 1/2 second and just let the motion become the picture. I also intentionally shook the camera a bit during the exposures. I love the way the light is streaking off of the keyboard and the Professor has become an impressionistic blur.

Don't become a slave to sharpness. When the situation calls for it, instead of stopping the motion, exaggerate it.

No comments: