XDrive Photo Lesson 6 – Focus on Blurs

This is my submission for XDrive Photo Lesson 6 – Focus on Blurs. All photos were taken with Nikon D750.

(Left: F/5.6; 1/6 Sec.; ISO 320; FL 48mm
Right: F/5.6; 1/8 Sec.; ISO 320; FL 170mm)

(F/4.8; 1/10 Sec.; ISO 320; FL 68mm)

Do we first come up with a story, then a picture? Or come up with a picture first? I don’t know. (Does it even matter?) What I know is: story changes when I focus/blur a different subject in the photo. Don’t you agree?

For me, some blurry photos are like abstract paintings. They attract me, but I don’t understand them. The rose photo was created by zooming out while pressing the shutter release button. Tree photos were created by panning while pressing the shutter release button.

Rose: F/25; ½ Sec.; ISO 200; FL 92 mm
Tree 1: F/13; ½ Sec.; ISO 80; FL 92 mm
Tree 2: F/29; ½ Sec.; ISO 80; FL 50 mm

Thank you, Raj, for another great lesson.

Thanks for visiting my blog.

About Helen C

A retired computer programmer who loves writing and photographing, and has managed to publish a YA novel "Jin-Ling’s Two Left".
This entry was posted in photo, photo and thoughts, Photo Question and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

24 Responses to XDrive Photo Lesson 6 – Focus on Blurs

  1. Raj says:

    Thanks Helen for your contribution.. Well I was waiting for you submission this week

    Pic 3: Rose with drink and the petals.. Well that’s so beautiful composition and yes I agree focus and blurs makes the story. You wrote a powerful story with this picture. The broken petals take the story to climax and now I want to cry! 😀 As an improvement or as an alternative, bit of a higher angle that way complete glass and the stem of the flower are also visible? Bit less blur on the glass may be? But superb photo.. I am just nitpicking! One of the best I have seen here!

    Pic 6: I do agree those kind of induced motion blurs creates an artistic images. Yes they are abstract kind. Specifically liked this pic with those color gradients. To be frank, I have not ventured into this yet. Now I want to try this out. Thanks for the lead. I think there needs to be lot of experimentation involved here as far as the settings goes.

    This critical review is part of the XDrive Photo Learning sessions. Thanks again Helen and it was a superb contribution.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Helen C says:

      Thank you, Raj.
      First, I want to say… I read at Amy’s comment section that you worry if your critic would hurt people. Please stop worrying. It’s very difficult to get an honest feedback — Many of us are crying for that. We really appreciate your critic!
      It usually takes me a while to post my “homework”, because I want to practice and learn as much as I could. I want to take this chance to ask all the questions, too. 😉 For example in this lesson, I really wanted to include a photo of a biker, but so far I hadn’t find a good chance to do it yet. Even though I didn’t post mine sooner, I was reading others’ posts and waiting for your comments with them…
      You are right that the first picture could be taken a little higher. Taking this kind of photo is pretty new for me, maybe 2 or 3 months. Your critic is very helpful. Thanks.
      Pic 6 – this is the second time I tried this. Otto was the one who introduced this to me. I did it when I was taking his class 3 years ago. Your subject on blurring reminds me of this..You are right (again) it takes a lot experimentation. At this point, I would take many photos and then pick the ones that I like. I don’t have a clear idea on which would work and which wouldn’t yet.
      Your lessons are great! To be honest, Waking up in the middle of night (aging thing), I always check to see if your new lesson or your comment had arrived 😉
      Have a wonderful day.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Raj says:

        Thanks Helen for your kind words and the support. You guys are the real reason why this whole activity becomes so interesting. Yes one has to take these critics with good spirit, there is always a opportunity for improvements but sometimes given the situation we can only do so much. Any creative work involves so many tries and surprise results, but it happens only when experiments. Thank you once again.. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

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  3. Mabel Kwong says:

    Very abstract indeed, and unique too. It looks like the world is shaking from your photos. I like to create the photo first a lot of the time. That is, I usually go out with no expectations about taking photos and see what scene comes my water. However, there are times when I do want to get certain photos – like for instance I need a food photo for my blog and so I’d then go out to find or make food to take photos of 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Helen C says:

      Thanks, Mabel. What you said makes a lot of sense to me (as always 😉 I probably have done the same thing, the more I think of it. It’s just that when you do things in the auto-pilot mode, you don’t really know what you are doing… I am so happy you answered my question. THANK YOU!
      Have a wonderful day.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Amy says:

    Beautifully done, Helen. I read a photo book about creative photography and mention about the abstract photography using panning, I think yours are much better captured. I really like these shots.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Helen C says:

      Thank you, Amy. I learned panning from Otto’s e-workshop 😉 I only did it once during his workshop and the word “blurry” reminded me of it. I want to know more about abstract photos. They are fun to create. I am glad you like it too.
      Have a wonderful afternoon.


  5. loisajay says:

    Helen–why do I especially love the last three photos? And Raj liked them, too! The first three photos are so very professional, but the last three–words elude me. Super cool, I guess!! 😀

    Liked by 2 people

    • Helen C says:

      Thanks, Lois. I like those 3 photos too, particularly the trees. I think the rose one could be better. The problem I am having is that I don’t know how to take a better one. I mean what I should look out for when I make the next abstract photo. Hopefully like all other art, eventually it will become clear. Ha.
      Have a wonderful evening.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Helen, your last image is my favorite. It’s mysterious and inviting.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Helen C says:

      Thank you, Sally. I like the last one too. I think the shape of the tree trunk and the light were interesting.The thing I don’t like too much is that at the moment I was taking the photo, I had no idea how the photo would turn out. I guess with a lot of practices, maybe the unknown feeling will be decreased. Do you think so?
      Have a wonderful afternoon. .


  7. Amy says:

    The photo of the glass of drink and rose petals tell stories… The drink is almost gone and the petals are falling, beautifully done, Helen. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Lady Oscar says:

    I love all your photos! They are amazing. The blurry ones seem to have more stories~ impressive.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Lignum Draco says:

    I like the 3rd one best, followed by the last one, although this kind of artistic movement blur is not something I usually indulge in. Nice selections.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Helen C says:

      THANK YOU! The third one is the other tree? Or the flower? I have a feeling that depending on which blurring photo one likes, we can somewhat guess his personality (characteristic?) Just a feeling, I don’t really know how. Ha.
      Have a wonderful day.


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  12. shutterbug says:

    Wow! These photos blew me away! I can’t believe how changing your focus points had such a dramatic effect on the first 3 pictures. I honestly felt completely different from one photo to the next, a different scenario played out in my mind for each of them. And the last 3 had a ghostly, spiritual vibe. Well done!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Helen C says:

      Thank you, Kelly. Believe it or not, I wasn’t interested in taking still photos for several years, but now I like it a lot. I think it’s after I found out how challenge it was, I began to enjoy it 😉
      Have a wonderful day.

      Liked by 1 person

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