19 September 2016

Image softness storytelling

Following my thoughts on image storytelling (in this post) I now can reason why I like this image I captured the other day.
Would the photograph "tell the story" in the same way if the image would be pin sharp?
I don't believe so...

Ride to Downtown_bw_c
adapted X-Fujinon 50mm f1.6   1/8000sec

This image is a combination of slight miss-focus with a lens that is not that sharp to start with.
As I used an adapted old SLR manual-focus lens wide-open the view appeared slightly blurry and glowy. That lens renders a sharper image and much better contrast when I close its aperture a bit; but in doing that I would have lost the vintage appeal and separation of the main subject against the background.

Would I have been using instead my superbly sharp (comparable angle of view) modern lens done a better job?
If the viewer is bent on sharpness and precision, recording an event and place with minute details, then yes, by a long margin.
But if the viewer can create in his/her mind a story around that image then I am afraid to say that the super sharp lens would probably not help to create that look of nostalgia.
And that is why I burden myself with the awkward old glass from film days, where I can create "the feel" that my modern lenses can not.

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