Monday, 10 November 2008
I've intrigued for some time by the application of blur techniques to create images that convey moods rather than details. I've played around with various blur techniques myself: Processed Gaussian blur, out-of-focus techniques, multiple exposures etc.
The idea of using camera motion deliberately was a new one to me. I've been enjoying seeing Juha's experiments recently and the image with the post is a recent experiment of my own.
Then I read of the "Impressions of Light" work of William Neill over at Luminous Landscape, where he expands on his techniques. And that brings me to the subject of this post. All through my experimenting with various techniques I've been looking for specific ways to achieve specific goals. It is far from straightforward to do. I was hoping Neill's work would yield more insight. Quite the opposite.
While I really like the work he has produced, his expansion of his methods seems to remove the skill (the Latin artis) from the art and make it more a matter of persistence and random selection. the final result doesn't seem to get much past a 1 in 1000 random selection. Neill also states that use of Photoshop or other software to produce thee sort of results can often look over done. Indeed. That is where the skill comes in. He gives the impression (although it is probably wrong) that he doesn't have the software skills to produce the effects, and so has to resort to many attempts in the field. I get the feeling from his descriptions that just about anyone could produce similar work, which then relegates the value of his own work.
I'm feel sure that, with the appropriate techniques for certain subjects this whole arena can be turned into a much more skilful process than it appears currently. And that also means we shouldn't deny the ability to use software tools effectively as being a legitimate skill of the modern photographer.