Some learned behaviors are just doggone hard to counteract.
For a classically-trained photographer, one of the hard-and-fast rules of the shutter-clicking road is that your image captures must be sharp and clearly focused, not blurry. It just makes sense — a blurred image equates to a shaky hand or sloppy focus or an improper calculation of depth of field: Try again, dude, and this time use a TRIPOD!
But there’s this bothersome yearning for artistic vision, a nagging realization that we must sometimes ignore lessons learned in order to find new ways to express ourselves.
And so it was that this morning, while venturing into the native prairie woodland near my home, I ventured into a quiet and isolated grove of trees that holds a certain magic for me. I can’t explain it, and I’ve had trouble in prior photographic episodes expressing the visual curiousity of this place. It just feels special.
When I took this photo…
…I was trying to capture a shred of the quiet majesty of this isolated corner of suburban Dallas, but it just wasn’t showing me anything special. I tinkered with F-stops and shutter speeds (should I underexpose the scene to add mystery? Or would that be better done in post?) I suddenly recalled some photos I’d seen in B&W magazine — photos that used intentional linear blurring to add just the sort of otherworldliness I was looking for.
And so, for the first time in my photographic career, I set a slow shutter speed and moved the camera while the shutter was open. On purpose.
Man, that was hard!