#119. Such a Blur!

By pascaljappy | News

Aug 29

And now for something completely different 😉

Regulars will know DearSusanS mainly for landscape and travel photography. But there is a series, already touched upon a couple of times, that I hold closer to my heart and which is much less figurative : blurs.

As usual, thumbnails do little to present the pictures at their best, so be sure to click the ones you like to view them as they should be.

An artistic blur of three Stradivarius violins in a Venice church

Stradivarius Twins

You will have ween the occasional picture in a small minority of posts and in the rotating header of this blog (if you haven’t, just refresh this page to see a different header every time), as that type of picture has always appealed to me but require a lot of effort.

Ladies shopping in Liberty's of London

In the mood for shop

I thought it was time to present a few of them collectively in one single article.

The picture above illustrates one of the aspects of this style that I find interesting. All the details in the scenery are wiped away, leaving only the ambiance. Here, my wife is shopping in Liberty’s of London and the mannequins on the left would just look boring in a normal picture but blend in to provide texture and visual wieght rather than identifiable objects.

And similar situations can be depicted with very different results, see below :

Shopping with ghosts

Shopping with Spirits

Obtaining the desired results was a very hit and miss process at first, but with experience came a little bit more knowledge of what to expect in various situations and what settings to use for best results.

A blurred rendition of the Royal Albert Hall concert hall

Royal Albert Shake

This picture was already discussed in Royal Albert Riot. It is one of the less abstract examples, in which the scene can be recognised but where I feel the smearing of colours and the symbols drawn by highlights produce interesting visual patterns.

But today, my natural inclination is towards more abstract renditions such as the two images below.

A blurred view of the London Underground

Ethnic Tube

In Ethnic Tube, above, (already described in Supersonic Underground) the final image is much more impacted by colour, contrast and framing alterations. The location simply provides visual matter for the picture, with post-processing used to get the most visual tension out of what was there. No attempt is made to keep any resemblance to reality, but the original composition still drives the final image.

Whereas in Silent Crowd, below, the final image bears absolutely no relation to what was in front of me at the time. The picture is actually upside down and required a lot of post processing to extract the rows of dark figures walking towards … towards what? Azkaban? Devil’s Tower? Their office? You decide.

An abstract picture of slient black figures walking in rows

Silent Crowd

Random attempts can, and do, produce interesting results, but the best always come from premeditated action. Ghost in the Tube, below, (described in the eponymous entry) was made on the way to a visit to the Japanese section of the Brittish Museum and the correct wing-like shape was obtained after only few attempts.

Ghost in the Tube 1

Ghost in the Tube

Shops, undergrounds, train stations and airports are particularly conducive to these types of pictures, as below in Hong-Kong’s Chek Lap Kok, because the lighting used in these places allows for very creative effects. Also, the constant movement in these location must act as source of inspiration, in some way.

A ghostly figure advances in Hong-Kong airport

Chek Lap Kok Phantom

Note that since details are missing or inconsistent, composition is everything in these pictures. My favourites change from week to week, probably because they appeal to different types of emotions.

Inspirations for these come from various painters. Foremost people such as Mark Rothko, Jasper Johns, Jackson Pollock and Francis Bacon. These rank among my favourite artists of any period. But more surprisingly, more ancient master also play a role. In particular, William Turner and people such as Holbein the Younger (yeah, I know, it’s way harder to see ;), but pictures such as The Passion of The Christ elicit the same sort of swirly reactions in me).

A Special Bonus goes to anyone who recognizes Enki Bilal, another artist that can sometimes be very inspiring.

Abstract rendition of a sunset

Abstract Sunset

By the way, these blurs are one of the reasons I’d love a 60Mpix camera : to print really BIIIIIIIIG. Currently, prints up to 24″ look great, but I’d just love the clout of a 60 inch sample on my wall.

Car zee

Car Zee

What are your thoughts ? Do you hate them ? Do they leave you cold ? Would you hang one on your wall ? Would you climb Mount Everest to own one ?