Jul 22, 2020

OUT OF FOCUS PHOTOS – HOW DOES IT EFFECT OUR NOSTALGIC PSYCHE?

Today we are featuring artists using Love Her Wild presets on their dreamy ‘out of focus photos’. But before we move on to the swoony visual part, let’s take a look into what it is those out of focus shots do to our creative psyche, why we love it so much and different ways that it can be achieved.

We have ALL had an accidental out of focus photo. Maybe your focus fell on the hair instead of the eye, perhaps the subject was moving quickly. What about intentional though?  Intentionally making your photos out of focus can heighten the emotion, mood, or mystery of your scene.

But WHY are we so smitten with these images? What is it about an out of focus shot that soothes our insides like a warm bath after a rough day?!

NOSTALGIA.

Out of focus photos are the epitome of nostalgia and when looking at historical photographs, this renders long-gone moments disarmingly real.

Boom.

There’s your trigger right there. The University of Southampton, in England has found that nostalgia generates positive feelings, improves self-regard, and enhances our bonds with others. 

Well.. That would explain a lot.

So how do we achieve those out of focus shots that make you look a little longer?

Out of focus doesn’t have to be literal, ART doesn’t. It can be the foreground out of focus and the background in focus. It can be a particular lens that give you an effect. The point is, we are going for that feeling over the perfection.

‘Intentionally getting an out of focus shot allows us to drop the expectations. It opens us to feel the suggested rather than have it told in full. Leaving the viewers imagination reeling.’

Here’s a few little tricks that you can do.

  1. Manual focus. This is kind of obvious, but you would be surprised how overlooked it can be when trying to get an out of focus shot. Ironic, right? Switch your camera over too manual mode and play around with the focus. Be ok with imperfection and get in touch with letting go. Take a few shots while rotating your focus ring to see what tickles your fancy.

  2. Tilt shift lens or Lens baby lens. Technically speaking, The tilt feature of a tilt-shift lens takes advantage of the Scheimpflug principle, which decribes a situation where the lens plane is no longer parallel to the image plane (or image sensor, in the case of DSLRs).  Lensbaby on the other hand, make a line of tilt-focus lenses that create very unique images with an area of sharp focus, surrounded by fading blur. Lensbaby lenses are different from traditional tilt-shift lenses in that there is no shifting mechanism. There are some photos below with the SOL45 – see if you can spot them!

  3. Free lensing. Freelensing may sound technical, but it is SO rewarding once you give it a go. Basically you detach the lens from the camera and move it around to get creative blur. You might get a slither there or a slither here, and embracing it allows you to enjoy the process of imperfection. Tilting the lens all around will help you get focus. It requires playing around & experimentation. The secret is to not move the lens too far away from the body at all, but to ever so slightly shift it around.

    Once you twist and detach the lens, make sure it still in the mount. Just pull it away enough to allow you to tilt it around slightly.

  4. Slow shutter. Mmmmmmm dreamy goodness. Once upon a time, cameras were made with shutter speeds that went NOWHERE near the 1/6000 or 1/8000. My grandfathers ones sat at 500 and 300!! That’s some serious lag but makes for some very special imagery. Try setting your shutter speed super low, like, 100 – 150. Play around with your aperture to get the exposure you want. Then once you’ve got the right light, play around….. take shots of moving objects or move your camera a bit while you press the shutter. Move the shutter up a little, down a little, find your sweet spot. It’s all fun and art at the end of the day.


 

Thank you so much to all of our artists in the facebook group who submitted!

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