Weekly Photo Challenge: Blur

Life flies by, and it’s easy to get lost in the blur. In adolescence, it’s ‘How do I fit in?’ In your 20s, it’s ‘What do I want to do?’ In your 30s, ‘Is this what I’m meant to do?’ I think the trick is living the questions. Not worrying so much about what’s ahead but rather sitting in the grey area – being OK with where you are.–Chris Pine

This week’s photo theme encourages us to consider the times when blurring is an effective device to tell a photographic story.   I’m also at the age when time seems to be speeding up and I am more and more aware of the finite span of a lifetime.   It’s tempting to try to slow down time.  I remind myself that’s why people spend billions of dollars on anti-aging creams and potents and plastic surgery.  But I know enough about Einstein’s Theory of Relativity to realize this is a hopeless task!  (To see a great infographic which explains Einstein’s Theory of Relativity click here. )   So, I must curb my impatience as I work on a new long-term creative project to write another historical mystery novel.  As I draft the novel, I remind myself that to create anything of lasting value we all need to invest time and care into the project and reaffirm our dedication through messy false starts and first drafts.

This weekend I searched through my photo archives and took a few new shots at an exhibit at our local art museum in Grand Rapids.  Coincidentally, it was called “Stop Motion,” and featured 3-D works by artist David Greenwood.  I tried to figure out when “blur” adds to the photo’s message or detracts from it.  So, here are a few of my experiments with “blur.”

#1: I added a blur filter in Photoshop to highlight the swimmer’s arm cutting through the water.

A Perfect Stroke with Photo Blur.  Hollywood, Florida, 2014

A Perfect Stroke with Photo Blur. Hollywood, Florida, 2014

#2:  By adding a blur filter to this shot taken with with Samsung Galaxy S5,  this 3-D statue by David Greenwood appears to move.


Stop Motion. An exhibit at the Grand Rapids Art Museum. Michigan Artist Series by David Greenwood.

#3:  For this shot of flowers swaying in the wind, I used Photoshop filters to sharpen parts of the image and blur others.  I also added a cross hatch filter.  My aim was to heighten the viewer’s perception that the flowers are moving.

Wild Flowers with Photo Blur and Cross Hatch Filter.  Shot with my Canon 40D

Wild Desert Flowers with Photo Blur and Cross Hatch Filter. Shot with my Canon 40D

What do you think of my 3 experiments?  Do you think by adding a blur filter the drama of the shot is heightened or does the blur detract from the shot?   Does blur create mystery or confusion?

Thanks as always for your feedback, which is invaluable.  Have a great week everyone!  Join me in trying to slow down and enjoy the present moment.

21 replies »

  1. I do think your blur effect was very effective w the flowers, which is a lovely capture. And yes, you could achieve the effect w DOF but if you didn’t shoot it that way this is a very nice alternative!


  2. Hi Tina. Thanks! It was a combination of DOF and some post processing. I’m glad I spent a little time on this shot because I initially was going to bypass it! Thanks again.–Patti


  3. Patti
    I JUST had a look at you Agenda next talk is 28.07.
    Es freut uns.
    Der countdown läüft. Gruß.
    PS: hast du Viedeo über Sturgeon gesehen.
    Gruß aus Dresden

    Liked by 1 person

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