As sharp as a…

A general rule of thumb is that a picture has to be in focus, but this, like all rules, can be broken. There were a couple of photos that I gave awards to in judging the San Joaquin County Adult Photography Show that were not only unsharp, but their lack of focus enhanced their appeal.

Joanne Sogsti of Lodi entered a picture titled “Mother Nature’s Pallete”. It’s of a hillside covered with multicolored wildflowers. It’s shot from a distance and there’s a certain softness to perhaps due to cropping and enlarging from a smaller portion of the frame. That certain softness helps to give it an impressionistic, almost watercolor-like quality and gave it a first place showing Amateur color landscape category.

“Purple Dancer” was entered by Robert Officer of Tracy in the Amateur macro/close-up category. It’s a pleasingly simple picture, a tight shot of a lavender flower with a simple background. A halo surrounds the highlights of the photo, maybe due to a soft focus filter, but it gives it an airy, ethereal quality, which won him second place.

Helen Betz‘ simply titled “Horse” was entered in the Open color motion category. It was obviously shot with a too-slow shutter speed resulting in a visual cacophony. It’s just that jumbled confusion that helps convey the sense of frantic motion and gave the picture a second place.

Finally, Danis Azevedo of Galt won a second place with “Disneyland Fireworks” in the Amateur color nighttime category. There is some evident camera shake, but there is and uneasy feeling to it. The smoke trails to the exploding shells to the eerie red glow of Sleeping Beauty’s castle, make it look as though the evil queen has defeated Prince Charming, giving a different narrative to “The Happiest Place On Earth.”

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