people get ready, there's a train 'comin...

Who hasn't deliberately taken a very blury or out-of-focus photograph? What is it about these types of images that (at least conceptually) seem so alluring, but in practice almost always appear to fall short of our artistic vision?

Other than the obvious motivation—to illustrate speed—perhaps part of the allure is that they might provide insight into the fogginess of memories and dreams?  Whatever the reasons, it seems that when presented with a blurry image, we're usually not quite sure what it's supposed to be, or be about. Perhaps we're meant to appreciate it purely for aesthetic appeal?..."you don't need no baggage, just get on board".  There's nothing wrong with that—I'm all for decoration. I know, though, that with many of my blurry images, it isn't long before I realise they're not going to elicit the same reaction—intellectual, emotional, or both—that I have toward them. Consequently my indulgences are usually jettisoned from my library; never again to see the light of day.

Notable exceptions come from late 2012, when I journeyed to Japan a third time. During previous visits I'd recorded some images (rice paddies and a bridge in 'Snapped', for example) from aboard a Nozomi shinkansen travelling at about 300km/hr. The train passed through a typhoon, and the images were shot with apertures of ƒ/2.3-2.5. On this latest trip, however, the season was a bright and sunny autumn, and I set the aperture as low as ƒ/13.

Some of the results will comprise an exhibition scheduled for August (discussed these last few posts), and the first series I'll exhibit. There's still much work to be done before I'm completely happy with what's included, but here's one of the latest: