Editor’s Choice: Unsharp Is Also OK

As renowned Czecho-Slovak photographer Robert Vano once noted, photography isn’t brain surgery. So you don’t have to be scalpel-sharp. And our picks today from the Zonerama galleries support his words. Much more important than technical quality is the overall feeling from a photo.

Despite the blurriness, this photo has superb composition and light that make it quite striking. Photo: Albert Pich

Despite the blurriness, this photo has superb composition and light that make it quite striking. Photo: Albert Pich

This photo is visibly unsharp. The poor technical quality is no problem; on the contrary, along with the darkness of night it creates a superb atmosphere. Photo: Eric Erac

This photo is visibly unsharp. The poor technical quality is no problem; on the contrary, along with the darkness of night it creates a superb atmosphere. Photo: Eric Erac

Although this photo isn’t perfectly sharp, that in no way reduces its beauty. It does a great job of creating the impression of motion. Photo: GeorgeLee

Although this photo isn’t perfectly sharp, that in no way reduces its beauty. It does a great job of creating the impression of motion. Photo: GeorgeLee

Even though this photos’ quality and sharpness are not perfect, the author has managed to capture their subject at an interesting moment. So you can really feel the subject’s emotions in this portrait. Photo: nbgul

Even though this photos’ quality and sharpness are not perfect, the author has managed to capture their subject at an interesting moment. So you can really feel the subject’s emotions in this portrait. Photo: nbgul

A great snapshot in terms of both the composition and the situation. The blurry look simply fits some street photographers like a well-worn shoe. Photo: David Korda

A great snapshot in terms of both the composition and the situation. The blurry look simply fits some street photographers like a well-worn shoe. Photo: David Korda

 

Last updated 2. October 2015

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Author: Majo Elias

I’ve been taking pictures since 2004. When I was starting out, I photographed almost everything. Later my style solidified and I began photographing people almost exclusively. At the moment my main genres are fashion and advertising.

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Comments

  • TerryB

    Absolutely true. Even since the early days of digital imaging it has mirrored advances in the early days of photography and which saw significant improvements in film emulsions and lenses. But in one sense digital can go “one better” and produce very sharp images, and this is what buyers mostly seem to be looking for. I know I have. However, this can lead to too clinical looking images.

    But I have been finding that increasingly these technically very sharp images seem to be lacking a soul and this has been brought home to me in recent months ever since I started to digitise a lot of my old negatives. Here I am limited to 2820 dpi from an old Minolta Dimage Elite II (35mm only) scanner, but surprisingly I have not noticed the apparent lack of sharpness. Instead, I have wondered afresh at a number of my photos and find myself looking at them rather than how sharp they are, or not. I find I’m looking at the subject, and not the technical means that achieved it.

    • Zoner

      Nicely said, Terry, thank you!