Thursday, February 28, 2008

Life in Soft and Sharp Focus

I've known both misery and happiness, lived in so many different skins it is impossible for one skin to claim me. And I have felt like a wayfarer on an alien planet at times — walking, running, wondering about what brought me to this particular place, and why. But once I was here the dreams started moving in, and I went about devouring them as they devoured me.
Gordon Parks

I've been going about life trying to be very positive, but hit a wall last week as the shoulder issue became even worse, the pain ratcheted and my abilities to do things due to frozen joint reached a critical point. As a result I agreed to take medication till the surgery next month. The doctor told me that I had put it off about 6 months too long. Oops. So I've been in a bit of a tail spin because I'm limited in doing photography, yoga etc. But I'm coming around and did some photography with a tripod today since I'm having trouble holding my camera steady.

What can I say, finding any way to connect with photography is my touchstone right now. This time is also focusing my dream to become more accomplished as a fine arts photographer. I think of how Frida Kahlo delved into and discovered her art while she was recovering from her accident which left her bed bound and unable to do much. My being restricted is helping me discovery my style of photography and I'm finding I prefer a soft focus. So many of the articles that I read criticize soft focus and push for tack sharp focus. Well I find life is rarely in tack sharp focus, more often it is in soft focus and since my photography reflects the soul of what I see there you are. I have nothing against tack sharp focus and occasionally will use it to help make strong statements, but again soft/vintage/alternative practice (ironically through digital means) is where I seem to be right now.

Speaking of soft focus, in the March/April issue of American Photo there is a feature on actors who also shoot photography. Julie Delpy who I've come to admire has several Polaroids featured and talks about them, including the fact she about "girlish themes" and many of her favorite photographers are female. If you haven't seen it, her movie, "2 Days in Paris" is fantastic and the main female character is a photographer. If you have Netflix you can view it instantly.

Scenes from "2 Days in Paris":


Anonymous said...

It's wonderful that you keep opening the doors in your life experience.I too find the softer image resonates with my spirit, but struggle with the desire to create technically strong images that "make the grade". Lets rebel together and start a soft revolution!

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry you've been experiencing pain in your shoulder these days. I hope that the upcoming surgery helps you. It's good that you are still going out, looking for inspiration for your photography. Your photograph is beautiful!

As for whether an image is spot-on sharp or soft and out of focus, I think it depends on what the photographer envisions, what feeling he or she is trying to portray. Most of my favourite images have areas that are out of focus but lately, with what I've been shooting these last couple of weeks, I've been going in the complete opposite direction where everything is really sharp. I think we just have to go with what is inspiring us now. I think our style (and we each have a style)will come out either way.

Btw, Frida Kahlo has been on my mind, too, these days. And thank you for mentioning American Photo's article on actors who photograph. I'm going to check out that article this weekend.

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