Sharpness Is A Bourgeois Concept

Sharpness is a bourgeois concept” said Henri Cartier-Bresson. Though he probably said it at least partially in jest, I think it is a very good point. Perhaps more now than ever. Digital photography seems to have driven many advances in image quality and while, as a photographer, this is hardly something to complain about; it has meant that some people have become fixated on technical issues to the exclusion of all else. First and foremost the photograph should communicate a story or an¬†emotion but too many people look at a photograph purely on its technical merits. I spent some time on the below photograph (trust me I did) trying to get exactly the effect I wanted and sharpness was definitely not something I was striving for. See some more images in this vein in the New gallery of the web site.

Bishopsgate

Bishopsgate

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One Comment

  1. Doug Chinnery December 11, 2012 at 10:18 am #

    Nice to see some ICM and I echo your comments, Jon, on sharpness. While I understand it is essential for some of my commercial work, I find my self rebelling against the sterility of digital ‘front to back’ sharpness. I much prefer images which don’t make the story clear right from the outset – its like reading a book where you are told the ending before you start. I prefer images which have a softness and ambiguity that leave much of the story to the viewer – so much more engaging for us looking on. Some great images here – I have enjoyed browsing.