Originally published Feb. 5, 2011
Someone recently asked me to name three photographs I liked, a lot, and why I liked them. They couldn't be my own. With the exception of a photographer I studied under once upon a time (Craig M. Tanner) (http://www.tmelive.com/), I couldn't identify any specific photographs that I was just crazy about...until recently...when I picked up a book from the library called The 50 Most Influential Photographers of All Time, by Chris Dickie.
When I came across a photographer named Ernst Haas I felt as if I had finally made a connection. He is known, among other things, as a pioneer of showing movement in color photography. At last, here was someone who could understand the beauty I see in movement or blur in an image.
These images often seem met with resistance from many people. "Why is it out of focus?" "It isn't sharp" or "This is too confusing for me to look at." While there is certainly a place, ok a majority seat, for tack sharp, in-focus images, I often find myself becoming bored with the same static captures documenting a second of time in life. I'm not saying they are boring in general, just that I become bored when all I feel I'm doing is pushing the button, repeatedly. I found myself wondering, isn't there some middle ground that can be recorded? Not the split second, "in-focus" our eyes see and not the other extreme of constant motion, but the space in between - the initial focus and the beginning of movement.
The resulting images exhibit a flow of energy and to me, a fresh way of seeing and recording life. They are more exciting to my eye and can turn the most mundane, everyday scenes into interesting and thought provoking landscapes.
This technique is nothing new to the photography community - there are many other photographers who have "painted with the camera" since Haas. It's just that I was pretty excited to find the person who first photographed this way - intentionally - and had the courage to put it in color print.
Here are a couple of my motion images and a link to Ernst Haas's color movement photos.
I am a photographer who lives in Minnesota. I blog about Minnesota, photography, music, food and miscellaneous topics.