I have a weakness for photos out of focus. One could argue that photos out of focus are bad photos or liking them are an excuse for not being able to focus correctly. But I like to discuss two categories of out of focus photos.
First are the ones that are just slightly out of focus, because I was not successful or fast enough to hit it. Using manually focus and a rangefinder camera at fully open aperture makes it difficult to hit it spot on all the time. But I like to work with fully open apertures, to get a blurred background and just focusing at a small part of the subject and thereby lead the attention to what I want to show. Next, it adds a certain mood and feeling to the pictures that I prefer. The risk is having the shoulder in focus when I want the face on a moving object e.g. But sometimes these failed pictures still have enough expressions or even have some extra layers added, that they are worth keeping and looking at. Despite they may seem as mistaken. Below is such an example. The funny dressed guy still works in his movement although not spot on sharp at his face. The message still gets through, and the movement and sharpness makes him interesting because he moves.
Another group of unsharp images I find very appealing are totally blurred images, where the motive is just soft lines and areas out of focus showing just forms. These photos have a dreamy and poetic atmosphere and demands the viewer to use her/his imagination more to read the picture. These kind of pictures I make deliberately with this effect in mind. Mostly by sudden inspiration when the motive is right. It is not easier to do than pin sharp photos, because this kind of photography have to have a purpose, – a story to tell.
Below another example. This is with a couple I followed for a short while in Paris, and the light and their movement was inviting to do this picture. I simply pre-focused and shot a series without looking in the viewfinder. Afterwards I selected this one because of the movement, and the light adding this ring into the lens. There is, for me, a lightness and dancing feeling in this picture.
Finally a girls legs in Paris. Having this shot out of focus, and with the framing out of balance, adding tenseness and imagination to the photo, instead of “just” showing legs. This way this photos has its story extended to something else. What it is I will leave for you to decide 🙂