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Can Blurry Photos Be Good?


AUGUST, 2017

From the moment you decide, you want to get a camera, all you hear or read about is focus, focusing speed, sensor quality and sharpness. It seems that getting a ‘sharp and in focus’ image is the ultimate goal.

Without this, we fail as a photographer.

Is that really true?

I wanted to take a moment to talk about my thoughts on ‘out of focus’ or ‘blurry’ photos and consider can they be good?

Blur can be intentional and can be accidental.

Blur introduced by moving objects in the Photograph

Photo by Andreas Kind on Unsplash

Motion Blur

Motion blur is a really cool technique that let’s you capture time in a single frame.

You achieve this by slowing down the shutter to 1/10 of a second or slower and capture something moving in the frame.

Also its not an exact science, you shutter speed has to be judged based on how fast the moving object is moving through the frame.

You’d also need to consider using a tripod to capture shots that have motion blur.

Blur in this case becomes the main element of the photo. It adds mistery and curiosity for the viewer.

It intregues them to know what is that object? Consider the above image, do you know what it is? Is a bus, a taxi or a tram?

“Motion Blur creates mystery for the viewer!!”

Photo by 贝莉儿 NG on Unsplash


You can blur a photo out completely to create an abstract shot that can be interesting.

Sometimes I have created abstract images that were colours and shapes are the point of interest. By shooting out of focus you can really emphasize these elements.

As we are so used to seeing sharp and in focus images a beautifully composed ‘abstract’ can be just as good as an in focus image.

It can also be better than infocus image.

You create subject abstracts, you can switch your Lens/Camera to Manual focus mode and then manually adjust the focus until you are happy with the “blurriness” of the photo.

Photo by Simon Abrams on Unsplash

Photo by Roland Larsson on Unsplash

You can also use this technique to capture some beautiful bokeh rings. Boken is japanese for “blur” and this terms is very common amongst photographers.

When you have scene with lights in the background you can create these blurred light discs by shooting at the widest aperture your camera can shoot (for example F2, F1.8 etc)

This will create the circular discs in the blur you see above. Pretty cool, no?


So as you can see that “Blur” or “Blurry” photos can also be beautiful and appealing just as much as sharp and in-focus images can.

However, in my opinion, they can be even more enticing and captivating then in-focus and sharper images because they stand out from the rest as they are different.

What do you think? What kind of happy accidents have you had with blurry photos or you have created on purpose?

Please don’t hesitate to share your thoughts and photos below via the Comments.

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