We spend so much time intentionally trying to make our photographs sharp. This week we will explore intentionally making them blurry.
Pictorialism was in vogue many years ago, when photographers wanted to be seen as another faction of the art world. To do so they embraced techniques that copied paintings and etchings. They even used specially designed soft focus lenses.
There are many ways of intentionally creating softer images. My favorite is to use a large aperture (small number - remembering that they are indeed the short forms of fractions). If I use a small aperture, the lens stops down and I end up with sharper images than I intended. I simply defocus the lens and get the amount of blur I am seeing and feeling.
A different technique is to use a slower shutter speed, say 1 second or more, and intentionally move the lens.
Either way we end up with a soft focus photograph.
The trick to this is the resulting photographs need to be well composed. Otherwise they will fall flat.
So sally forth and create some out of focus images.
Experiment to see if you can figure out where the right amount of out of focus is just right.
Lastly, there are many other ways to create soft focus photographs, which include: using chiffon and other translucent things to shoot through, soft focus lenses, Vaseline on an old filter (mind you I have never had the gumption to try this one in fear of getting it on my lenses), photographing moving subjects is another way.
As per usual, post some of your resolved photographs and discuss your techniques.