Sign up for our newsletter
Stay up to date on all the latest photography gear!Subscribe
Photo Of The Day By Robert HendersonToday’s Photo of the Day is...
Photo Of The Day By Max FosterToday’s Photo of the Day is “The...
Photo Of The Day By Ross StoneToday’s Photo of the Day is “Mobius...
National Parks Safety Tips For Photographers
Before heading into the wild, read these tips for planning and enjoying a safe, successful photo adventure.
5 National Parks For Summer
They’re not too hot, not too crowded and they offer tons of summer-specific photographic opportunities.
Point Reyes National Seashore
One of the best-kept secrets of the National Park Service, Point Reyes National Seashore is a year-round wildlife destination.
Exploring Our National Wildlife Refuge System
The National Wildlife Refuge System protects vital habitats, making them excellent destinations for wildlife photographers.
Depth Of Field In Macro Photography
In macro photography, depth of field is especially important to ensure the details of your subject are sharp. Use these 5 tips to get the best results.
California’s Eastern Sierra
Explore the many opportunities for dramatic landscape photography on the sunrise side of the Sierra Nevada mountains.
This is the 1st of your 3 free articles
Become a member for unlimited website access and more.
FREE TRIAL Available!
Already a member? Sign in to continue reading
The Lure of Blur
At some point, I suspect, every photographer looks at the brilliant colors of Fall, and wonders how to use them in a photograph. Especially, I might add, if it’s windy… In some conditions, it is simply impossible to get a sharp image of autumn leaves, so one is forced to resort to “creative blur.” It is simply a case of working with what nature offers you; with sharpness out of the question, and a camera in your hand – what else can you do?
On a recent October day, I found the color I wanted, but the wind was waving everything around. So I abandoned any idea of a quiet still-life, or a colorful near-far “Sierra Club” landscape, and went for the color, plain and simple; I slowed down the shutter speed and let the wind create the motion. For half an hour, I burned through exposures like mad, checking the LCD just to look at which techniques worked – and which produced complete, irredeemable chaos (and there were ALOT of those).
These two images are ones I kept, out of a hundred or more. (You might have picked different ones – or thrown them all away – who knows?) The one above I liked because of its gauzy simplicity; it is nothing but pure, abstract color. The one below I liked because of the leaf shapes still visible through the layers of blur. The conventional wisdom on blurry pictures is that something should always remain in focus for the viewer’s eye to hold on to. But conventional wisdom is often something to be skeptical of.
These images are a real stretch for a hard-core wildlife shooter like myself. But they are a reminder that photography should be creative, risky and playful. Have fun out there.