I'm so glad you found me! I'm a San Francisco photographer, and this blog charts my journey in the ever-evolving world of photography. One of the things I love about photography is that it's a journey, not a destination. I'm constantly learning and meeting wonderful people. Please peruse the blog to your heart's content, then check out my website and feel free to contact me! (I love hearing from you.)

“Which of my photographs is my favorite? The one I’m going to take tomorrow." – Imogen Cunningham

“A portrait is not made in the camera but on either side of it.” – Edward Steichen

Tuesday Photo Tip - Why Do All Your Photos Need to Be Sharp?

I admit it, I have it. The Sharpness Disease. If a photo's not tack sharp (where I want it to be), I usually delete it.

But sometimes. SOMEtimes. Sharpness isn't necessary. In fact, it can get in the way. Sharpness says: look here! Pay attention to me! Sharpness says: this photo is about ME. And this is great, when you do have a specific subject for a photo. People, animals, we expect them to be sharp. Or at least we expect the eyes to be sharp.

What if you want just a feeling? An indication? Not a 'look here' but more of a 'feel this.' Then I think sharpness can get in the way a bit. Be a false friend. And blur can help you show and tell what you mean more effectively.

In this case I set my shutter speed to 1/10 of a second, and I took several photos in succession, moving the camera slowly up and down. My goal was a photo where the grass was still identifiable, but where none of the individual details were present (and distracting). I wanted a photo with the feeling of grass. Grass in general, not just this grass.

So, what do you think? Do you have the Sharpness Disease too? Or do you appreciate a bit of blur?


  1. I think the blur adds an artistic touch to the image...I have tried this technique and never had results I love...you did a great job, you inspired me to try it again!

  2. Very nice abstract, Jessica- I love those slow shutter speed panning on the static object.
    Cheney, you need to try and try again, some of them just work, and some of them- not that much. Trees, or grass, or field of flowers are perfect for vertical pan, simple landscapes with clear horizon- for horizontal.

  3. i think i could use a touch of the sharpness disease. i really love blur for conveying feelings, or memories. you're photos are always so sharp (gorgeous), it's nice to see the other side.


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