Some things are simply too… er… “good” to not be shared.
The following started out as a two-paragraph reply to a comment on one of my pics on Flickr. But I’m afraid I got rather carried away (I know, I know… some folk think I should be carried away) and ended up with… well, the following basically.
With which I was so enamoured that I just couldn’t resist reposting it here (in slightly amended form to suit the different medium of course).
Observe the foregoing image and study it well.
For what we have here is a wonderful and innovative new style, known as “woolly focus”… an enhanced development of soft focus. Achieved by the extremely complicated technique of carefully and precisely not standing the tripod on anything solid.
Care and precision being the key words.
Takes months of practise… and so easy to get wrong. Especially if you listen to the misguided advice of other less competent and less imaginative photographers who, whilst perhaps technically proficient (as if that mattered), lack the requisite creative vision.
Just a slightly wrong placement and its all screwed up and all you get is a bog-standard sharply-in-focus pic. No good at all. Far too common. So “yesterday” and clichéd.
A similar effect can of course be achieved by hand-holding the camera… preferably whilst in a state equivalent to that “morning after” feeling. But this tends to be a far less reliable method, with a much greater chance of accidentally achieving something like sharpness of detail… a result to be deplored. Naturally.
A more extreme version of the effect (discovered by chance, and that I’m still experimenting with) is possible by a very accurately targeted light kicking of one of the tripod legs at the critical moment.
This is a much more advanced technique though as split-second timing is of the essence as is applying a precise amount of energy to the kick, and it therefore requires very much more practise.
And a few spare tripods.
In fact, I’m fully prepared to offer lessons in these techniques… for appropriate recompense obviously.
Inevitably there will be many who fail to appreciate the significance of this style of photography and just how much skill it takes to achieve a good representation of it so at some point I shall probably also offer courses in which people can enrol, wherein I shall make every effort to explain, illustrate and demonstrate the subtleties and nuances of these techniques, and the magnificently symbolic meanings that can be imparted to images within this particular genre.
These techniques also render possible, for the very first time, the opportunity to meaningfully reinterpret the phrase “in the eye of the beholder”.
Thusly… if a beholder fails to fully appreciate this richly symbolic and important method of visual representation then you smack them in the eye with the tripod… an application of the principle that learning is most effectively achieved when reinforced with pain.
If, despite such education, there are those who still fail to understand the vital importance of this form of creative work as an expression of one’s inner vision and unique way of seeing the world (usually when drunk) then clearly they are cultural heathens, illiterate scum, ignoramuses, the “common man”… and not worth bothering about.
They’re also blind in one eye probably.