Sunday, November 17, 2013

origins : chasing butterflies

Chasing Butterflies is a term I use when there is a photo and the focus plane is not where you would expect it, or where it typically should be. You know, the eyes have to be sharp!

It came from the so called "happy accident". Focus on subject but sometimes the AF would focus on something with stronger contrast. The traditional rule is make your subject sharp. But over time the accidents became non accidents. They were more interesting at times, when the focal plane was not where you naturally expected it.

I call it chasing butterflies for a reason. I was shooting Kate one night, downtown, and there was this building behind her that had the coolest bricks, and were lit by a nice streetlight. I deliberately wanted that stuff in focus and while trying to create some "story" for the image, I decided to put her out of focus. She had on this pretty interesting wardrobe, and I thought it would lend itself to the overall photograph.

So directing her, I gave her instruction to act like she was Chasing Butterflies. Guess it stuck.

Now when I do Chasing Butterfly shots, I suppose its 30 percent intentional and 70 percent accidental. Maybe it's skewed because I let the accidents happen and am not too anal about absolute sharpness in every image.

Consequently me and Kate did a trip to the Eastman House a few years ago, and got to spend some time in the archives. It was telling. Some great photos we saw and many of which were not the expected sharpness.

Our brains do a bunch when processing things we like, and with that said, I have come to embrace a photograph as a sum of it's whole, not just it's technical merit. I have also seen those people who are technically anal about everything. Perfection. Rare times you see it, but most of the time the stuff I like, is far from perfect.

Anyhow, guess this is all justification for posting this image. Camera back-focused and I was like, cool. The eyes don't have to be sharp in my world.

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