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I learn so much from your photographs, Alan. From the first one I learn that what you think should be in focus isn’t always what should be in focus—or in the light. From the second one I learn, not for the first time, how much a human shadow can add to a photograph. Did you first like the juxtaposition of the doors and then add your shadow, or did you think of photographing your shadow and then find a good place to put it? . . . Hm. Wait. The more I look at the second photo, the more I can’t figure it out. It’s not a composite, is it?
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Thank you Linda.
My camera gets credit for the first shot. I wanted the pulls to be in focus but the auto focus wouldn’t allow it, and I can’t override its decisions manually. I was going to delete the image when I got back home but after seeing it on my computer, I liked it: I never realized that the consumer-level camera that I use is equipped with artificial intelligence :)
I first discovered how interesting out-of-focus images can be back in July when Daniel, at Stadtauge, posted some street shots: https://stadtauge.wordpress.com/2017/07/04/alfred-scholz-platz-july-2017/. The blurry shapes eliminate most of the details that would otherwise be distracting. Instead, the viewer is left with the underlying shapes that tell a story and convey an atmospheric mood and sense of place. I think it’s an effect that’s definitely worth exploring more.
As for the second shot, I was originally drawn to the relationship between the light switch and the play of light and shadows surrounding it. It was only when the title popped into my head that I decided to insert my shadow into the picture. It’s a perfectly straight shot, not a composite: My shadow is caused by the setting sun, and
half of it gets lost because of its projection onto a wall in a corner of the room.
(Confession: I Photoshopped one of the switches into the “on” position so there’d be something for the last person to turn off when leaving. Meant to move it at the time but I was too fixated with getting my shadow positioned right. Hope this doesn’t make me a bad photographer :)
I’ll bet you never try another shot to get the pulls in focus. This one might put the second try to shame.
Thanks for the link to the page in Daniel’s Stadtauge (City-Eye—I finally translated the German!) site. I hadn’t gone to the site in some time, and, yes, those out-of-focus photographs are very nice.
I still can’t imagine my way around your second photo—seems like there should be another part of your shadow on the door area. Anyway, I like it a lot and think your Photoshopping is just fine (and skillful). When I take photographs in nature, I refuse to move any twigs or leaves that may bother me. Than when I get to the computer, I think, why didn’t I move them—and I Photoshop them out if I can. Stupid. I should just move them. Or maybe not. I’m probably better off having a rule about not moving them; no telling what dangerous path I’d go down once I started doing that.
It’s six of one, half a dozen of the other for me, and usually depends on which requires the greatest effort — removal by hand or Photoshop. Just glad that I’m not a photojournalist, or else I’d be very frustrated that the world is not as clean and orderly as I prefer it to be in my images :)
:-) Thank you both for letting me eavesdrop!!
You’re welcome to join in.
It’s a good discussion…I favor the second photo and it’s as much the old wooden door with its glass knob, and the wood trim on the wall as the shadow that draw me. But for sure, the shadow is wonderful. A photo where everything is out of focus – I have to think more about that. :-)
I think Daniel (see above link) showed how well it can work.
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