Shooting Movement and the benefits of Blur

I was educated in the traditional disciplines of photography and while that may simply mean I am caught in some sort of time warp, it can also mean that the way I shoot pictures and then edit the results are heavily influenced by the historical influences on photography. Henri Cartier-Bresson and the decisive moment I was taught should be my the Holy Grail. Composing in the camera, the myth of the authenticity of the negative, the proof of a full bleed print, these, my teachers told me, were the real marks of talent.

This sort of dogma had a profound influence on the manner in which I compose a picture, because even today I’m always trying to make the picture complete inside the camera. Consequently, it’s taken a long time for me to crop pictures, even in the computer, simply because I was immersed in the integrity of the frame. I knew it was rubbish, even in the early days, but the discipline was empowering and kept me printing full bleed long after it was in any way relevant to the pictorial process.

Even today when I look at the pictures on the computer, it’s never during the first review that I think, ok, that would be good if it was cropped to half its size. although computers make it so easy to crop, resize and now, refocus. But old habits some- times take a very long time to be thrown away. My answer to breaking the habit has been a constant revision of the work flow and continuous learning, which helps keep abreast of one’s inhibitions and quirks,. I have also learned that the delete button is a firm and wise friend.

This picture was shot one evening out in Seropong, Jakarta, where I spent a pleasant couple of hours shooting vehicles and people from the last day light into early night.

The blurring was intentional, as I wanted the work to be about motion and impermanence of a glance, although I forget the actual reason why I wanted such pictures. It may have been a simple matter of having too many sharp pictures, or a need to ……………who knows?

 

85mm, f1.8, 1/8sec, ISO100 (the camera was stabilized on a monopole)

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