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    Blurry pictures: how to lose your focus on purpose for artistic effects

    | Photography Tips | 25/10/2013 11:38am
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    Blurry pictures are a bad thing, right? Not always. In this tutorial we show you how to blur your pictures for an enigmatic, artistic effect.

    Blurry pictures: how to lose your focus on purpose for artistic effects

    Image by Sian Lewis

    If you’ve had drummed into you that a ‘good’ photograph should always be pin-sharp, it’s time for a rethink. Deliberately defocusing your images can create dreamy, artistic photos. Plus, blurring the edges of even the most run-of-the-mill subject can make it seem intriguing.

    At the very least, shooting with deliberate defocus is a fantastic photographic assignment if you’re in a rut. You don’t need any special kit, just a location that offers a variety of subjects to experiment with.

    The main pointers for a successful defocused shot are to pick a simple subject – choose something with a strong, easily recognisable silhouette – and to avoid cluttering your shot, as a busy scene will just look confusing when out of focus.

    How to make artistic blurry pictures

    How to make artistic blurry pictures: step 1

    01 Find your settings
    You’ll use the same settings whether your subject is in focus or not, so take some shots in focus as you would normally and find a composition that you like. We were shooting on a cloudy day, so we used a shutter speed of 1/125 sec, aperture of f/5.3, and an ISO of 200.

     

    How to make artistic blurry pictures: step 2

    02 Focus manually
    Switch to manual focus, and focus on a point well beyond (or in front of) your subject. Review your blurry pictures on the LCD to see if they look right: too fuzzy and it will become a pointless blur, so find the focus point that creates a dreamy feel while still letting you recognise the subject.

     

    How to make artistic blurry pictures: step 3

    03 Go exploring
    Once you’ve shot your subject, scout about for more scenes and objects. Bold architecture and people in silhouette look especially good out of focus, though it’s worth noting that if you defocus shots of people too much, their bodies can take on an elongated, alien look.

    Final Tip
    Play with the in-camera filter options – warm oranges and sepia tones will add a retro, film effect to your blurry pictures.

    READ MORE

    AF Points: how to take control of autofocus to get the shots you want
    How to use focus lock on your digital camera
    Break the rules with white balance for abstract pictures
    Shadow art: abstract photography effects with everyday items
    15 non-photography gadgets every photographer needs


    Posted on Friday, October 25th, 2013 at 11:38 am under Photography Tips.

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