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02-20-2021, 01:01 PM   #31
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QuoteOriginally posted by onlineflyer Quote
This photo is definitely not sharp and is clearly out of focus but I like it for what it is and what it means to me. It was taken at a charity cycling event to raise funds for cancer research and pictures the enthusiasm of the folks participating.
Picture is totally on point. Great image

02-20-2021, 04:44 PM   #32
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QuoteOriginally posted by pschlute Quote
Picture is totally on point. Great image
Thank you.
02-21-2021, 07:20 AM   #33
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QuoteOriginally posted by swanlefitte Quote
By 1888 he [Van Gogh] didn't bother with anything we could consider sharp and produced the masterpieces we remember him for.
But tastes differ. I have never been a fan of sloshy paintings, and cynically it could be said that painters get less sharp as their eyesight deteriorates with age and as they become under greater commercial pressure to churn the paintings out. Millais for example, originally of the ultra-sharp Pre-Raphaelite school of painters, went that way.
QuoteOriginally posted by biz-engineer Quote
I'm always liked abstracts as much as sharp and subject separation images, but slightly soft lenses (or too much enlargement) never made it into a piece of art.
Abstracts are not necessarily un-sharp, in fact sharpness is essential to the style of some abstracts, Mondian's geometric paintings for example. On the other hand, Julia Margaret Cameron's rather soft "fantasy" photos are considered among the best of Victorian photographic art, although I prefer her fully focussed portraits of Darwin, Dickens etc with which we are now all familiar on bank notes.

I always thought that soft focus lenses and filters were primarily for taking commercial portraits of middle-aged women, to soften the crows feet and keep the client happy.

Last edited by Lord Lucan; 02-21-2021 at 10:13 AM. Reason: Clarity
02-21-2021, 07:48 AM - 4 Likes   #34
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My line from the height of the sharpness rage was....
There has never been any evidence that sharpness enhances the enjoyment of the viewer.

One of my favourite stories from that time.

At one point when Tess and I were in our craft sale booth, I could here her talking to a prospective customer. She was shooing a K-5 at that time I was shooting a K20. The guy picked $1,000 work of images and negotiate her down to $750. One of the images was a K20D sunset, that was very weak in the shadows. Tess was going on as tactfully as possible about how it wasn't our best image. At one point he just cut her off, and said in tone that left no room for argument. ""I want that one." He asked us to have the framing done and deliver them. He many had a huge black wall in his kitchen over looking a lake. It must ave be 20'x 20' and the wall that attached to the house was all photographs, Every local photographer was represented, some great work. He hung one of Tess' and one of mIne, for us while we were there.

This was definitely a collector. He had more in storage than he had hung, even though he probably had 20 hung. So what I take from it is, what the buying public wants is often at odds with what some photographers think is good.

There's nothin wrong with getting hung up on sharpness making photographs, or resolution etc. but the rest of the world just want what looks pleasing to them. Sharpness like anything else has to be used appropriately. The statement that a good picture that's a little soft is not as good as a sharper version of the same image is IMHO just wrong. There is no single element of photography that can be applied to guarantee a better image without reference to context and composition, sharpness is just another element, and too much sharpness can definitely ruin the mood of an image. I hate seeing people go down the "sharpness" road. It's a trap to pursue "sharpness", not "photographic excellence", and the two are not synonymous.

Sometimes I think sharpness is the crutch people who refuse to experiment with composition fall back on to try and justify how worthwhile their work is. " It has to be worth something, it's sharp." It's sad, but I can be razor sharp and worthless, or a little soft and gorgeous. This sharpness thing has gotten so out of hand, were I still teaching, I'd pick up a few old film camera and some soft glass, and make getting an acceptable image with less than stellar glass an assignment. People need to understand, it's not about buying great stuff and automatically getting great images. It's about using gear appropriate to the subject.


Last edited by normhead; 02-21-2021 at 07:47 PM.
02-21-2021, 02:24 PM   #35
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QuoteOriginally posted by normhead Quote
It's about using gear appropriate to the subject.
+ 1... well said my good man.
02-21-2021, 02:28 PM   #36
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If I send a file to a lab for printing a 100 Euros print, I prefer to send a high quality image instead of an image soft in places defined by the lens (not even decided by the photographer). Prints cost the same regardless of the quality of image files, better use the best quality potential of the print process. Mass market digital cameras are perfect for most photographers because they mostly display image on 4K electronic display, for which digital ILC are mostly overkill. In the meantime, the market for prints became small niche market, as well as the market for large format cameras (which is why they are so expensive).
02-22-2021, 02:10 PM   #37
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Just sold for 54 million... but how sharp is it?


Looks like serious diffraction to me.
02-22-2021, 02:31 PM   #38
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QuoteOriginally posted by normhead Quote
Looks like serious diffraction to me.
I just find this image humorous. A picture of someone taking a picture of a painting.

02-22-2021, 03:17 PM - 2 Likes   #39
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QuoteOriginally posted by normhead Quote
Looks like serious diffraction to me.
Probably taken with an old bridge camera.
02-22-2021, 03:52 PM - 1 Like   #40
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QuoteOriginally posted by normhead Quote
Just sold for 54 million... but how sharp is it?


Looks like serious diffraction to me.
I think the photo would benefit from sharpness but not the painting. The frame is so unsharp it looks like the painting. Which brings up the philosophical question of when sharpness matters. Here it matters because it has the ability to enhance our perception of key subject matter.
Sharpness is a tool. Where it allows us to see the reason for the photograph, it is needed. Where it distracts us from that reason, it should be avoided. Like all photography, it is a compromise.
02-22-2021, 05:32 PM   #41
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QuoteOriginally posted by swanlefitte Quote
I think the photo would benefit from sharpness but not the painting. The frame is so unsharp it looks like the painting. Which brings up the philosophical question of when sharpness matters. Here it matters because it has the ability to enhance our perception of key subject matter.
Sharpness is a tool. Where it allows us to see the reason for the photograph, it is needed. Where it distracts us from that reason, it should be avoided. Like all photography, it is a compromise.
More like part of the decision making process.
A sharp image of a fuzzy concept will fail as quickly as a fuzzy image of a sharp concept.
The photographer needs to make correct decisions regarding this as part of the process or else will fail as a photographer.
02-22-2021, 05:51 PM   #42
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QuoteOriginally posted by Wheatfield Quote
More like part of the decision making process.
A sharp image of a fuzzy concept will fail as quickly as a fuzzy image of a sharp concept.
The photographer needs to make correct decisions regarding this as part of the process or else will fail as a photographer.
More nuanced:
A sharp image of a fuzzy object that includes the surrounding allows us to know the object is indeed fuzzy. Yet a photo without any surrounding reference will fail to inform us the object is fuzzy and not the photo.
02-23-2021, 05:44 AM   #43
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QuoteOriginally posted by swanlefitte Quote
More nuanced:
A sharp image of a fuzzy object that includes the surrounding allows us to know the object is indeed fuzzy. Yet a photo without any surrounding reference will fail to inform us the object is fuzzy and not the photo.
Whatever.
02-23-2021, 06:01 AM   #44
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QuoteOriginally posted by Wheatfield Quote
More like part of the decision making process.
A sharp image of a fuzzy concept will fail as quickly as a fuzzy image of a sharp concept.
The photographer needs to make correct decisions regarding this as part of the process or else will fail as a photographer.
I don't think that's true. A fuzzy concept stays fuzzy - a sharp concept can survive less than stellar execution.

A sharp image (or, rather, a sharp execution) of a sharp concept is of course the best, but if I can only have one I'd rather have a strong underlying idea than a technically perfect barbituric photo
02-23-2021, 06:27 AM   #45
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QuoteOriginally posted by swanlefitte Quote
More nuanced:
A sharp image of a fuzzy object that includes the surrounding allows us to know the object is indeed fuzzy. Yet a photo without any surrounding reference will fail to inform us the object is fuzzy and not the photo.
You might need to post an image, so I can see an example of a fuzzy object.

What is blue and fuzzy?
Blue fuzz.

The problem being , any image take with a 6MP camera and kit lens isn't fuzzy. The contrast isn't between sharp and fuzzy, the contrast is between kit lens sharp and premium lens sharp. We are getting into a bit o absurdity here.

Last edited by normhead; 02-23-2021 at 06:32 AM.
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