In praise of blurry images.

Inspiration, Konica Hexanon 60mm f/1.2, Leica 35mm Summilux ASPH FLE f/1.4, Leica 50mm Summilux ASPH f/1.4, Nikon, Nikon (Nikkor) NOCT 58mm f/1.2, Portrait, Teaching point

Sometimes I choose to post a blurry image.

Admittedly, most of the time it has been generated as a result of user (me!) error.  Occasionally, I’ve planned it.  Regardless of how it’s arrived at, there is something about it that has caught my eye.  Invariably, somebody will condemn it by pointing out the obvious: “it’s blurry”.  End of story.

Or is it?

Sometimes, the out-of-focus-ness is adding more than it’s taking away.

Sometimes, the emotive intent of an image is made sharper precisely because it is blurry.

You’ll find some samples below.  They’re all blurry — and they all have left an indelible impression on my mind.

[And you?… do you have a favourite blurry image?  I’d love to see it…]


(please click on the images below to view)

↑Nikon D3S and Nikkor-NOCT 58mm @ f/1.2.

↑Leica M9 and Leica 50mm Summilux ASPH @ f/1.4.

↑Nikon D3S and Nikkor-NOCT 58mm @ f/1.2.

↑Leica M9 and Konica Hexanon 60mm @ f/1.2.

↑Leica M9 and Leica 35mm Summilux FLE @ f/1.4.

11 thoughts on “In praise of blurry images.

  1. …love #4 on the beach. Amazing colors!!

    On a side note: how often do you find yourself shooting with your D3S?


    1. Thanks Mark!

      In answer to your question, I sold my D3S last year and have shot exclusively with my M9… every so often, I process an old D3S file and post it.

  2. So, blurry photos aside, which I enjoy whether intentional or serendipitous (I have the odd one of those), do you ever put a roll of film through an old body at all these days? The M9 is such a capable and useable camera that I happily sold my 1Ds3, but I still have a regular ‘need’ to expose film.


    1. Mike! Yes, I’ve been working on a 36 roll of Tri-X for the last three months… haven’t used it up yet, but yes, I’ll develop and scan it when it’s done….

      1. Nice to know you haven’t abandoned film, but I have a similar modus operandi – the volume of film depnds on the volume of time available for developing/scanning.

        Look forward to seeing some scans.


  3. I agree with you on your statement that blur sometimes adds more than it removes. Especially after having added a Summilux 50mm to my M9 (which is hard/impossible to focus close up), I’ve found it good to argue in favor blur-is-better. 🙂

    But I cannot see what blur adds to #2 (but that’s just me), and I don’t think #5 is blurred (I’m sure you intended to focus on the snow). #3-#5 are my favorites. They’re fantastic.

    By the way – enjoyed your M9/M3 sports shots.

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