Nothing New or Original

I guess this current fascination of mine with blur is a reaction to doing the opposite without respite for too long, so it seemed to be offering a freedom of some sort.

In truth it’s nothing of the sort, just a skill that has been let go idle for a number of years as I concentrated on studio work.

Paradoxically, Berlin’s resurgence of bright sunny days has tested my ability to get what I want. The last week was overcast and perfect, which meant slow shutter speeds would have been easy but not so today. Strolling around Potsdamer Platz with the legions of tourists the sun blessed all with its warmth, brightening everybody’s smile, except for mine. I’m sure I was the only one forlornly waiting for dark sun-deadening clouds.

To overcome the leached affect caused by exceptionally bright highlights due to gross over- exposure in this picture, I once again resorted to the Nik Color Effects filters I bought a few years ago and now find indispensible.

This particular look is called Old Grungy and while the final picture required a little more work than the standard settings, the filter set did most of the heavy lifting. I like this sort of look because it’s a compromise between pure monochrome and the densely saturated images that are the usual fare of digital cameras. I know it looks a lot like an instagram picture, but then the instagram pictures look like photos shot around the 1920’and 30’s, so who is following who?

Currently there is a photo exhibition in Berlin with colour photos taken in 1914 and they have that instagram look.

New, original, no photographic image has had these qualities for a very long time. Not that it matters, in the end it is the final print that’s important, the rest is just the commercial chatter of the market place.


85mm, f22, 1/5sec, ISO100


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