WordPress’ Weekly Photo Challenge: Unfocused

07 May 2012


I. Objects

1. Grater, May 2012; © Sally W. Donatello and Lens and Pens by Sally, 2012

2. Grater, May 2012; © Sally W. Donatello and Lens and Pens by Sally, 2012

3. Grater, May 2012; © Sally W. Donatello and Lens and Pens by Sally, 2012

4. Knife, May 2012; © Sally W. Donatello and Lens and Pens by Sally, 2012

II. Flowers and Leaves

5. Close-Up of Azalea, April 2012; © Sally W. Donatello and Lens and Pens by Sally, 2012

6. Center of an Azalea, April 2012;

7. Two Leaves, April 2012; © Sally W. Donatello and Lens and Pens by Sally, 2012

Let me know which image is your favorite. And which one captures the essence of your definition of the word unfocused?


WordPress’ Weekly Photo Challenge provides yet another chance for individual interpretation. Thankfully, that leeway to go left, right or center is part of the limitless opportunities of the photographer’s lens. Each person becomes a visionary to produce an unrestrained explanation for the unfocused. And the challenge allows us to view other entries, thereby enlarging our own conceptualization. You can click here to see their work.

Unfocused can be defined in several ways. When the photographic subject or subjects are out of focus, the image might: not be discernible (#1), be slightly recognizable (#3, 5, 6), or be apparent (#2, 4). Or parts of the image can be in-and-out of focus (#7). In my visual explanations of the challenge, each can claim to be within the definition of the unfocused.

The still photograph offers pure experimentation, which is part of the beauty of the Weekly Challenge. We can push our own level of comfort through the door of the unknown, especially managing depth of field. While it seems easy to produce an out-of-focus image, it can be tricky. Sure, most of us have taken piles of blurry images, but that’s simply a by-product of human, mechanical and technical interaction. Sometimes, just sometimes, the unplanned unfocused image can be magical and whimsical.

Usually a photographer wants to stun viewers, and have them captivated in the moment of seeing, which results in multi-faceted or precise visual memories. But to produce an out-of-focus image and achieve the same “wow” factor or even an acceptable rendering is truly the challenge of this challenge.

A sampling of life’s journey includes a meandering on an unfocused path. That ambling can bring a crystalline sparkle or dim lights or lack of clarity. But in that process of exploration often the out of focus instigates a new understanding, which is unbound with possibilities. And so these weekly photo challenges offer, even in the unfocused, a chance for personal illumination, a chance to reconfigure our reality.

Note: As always I welcome any comment about this post or my blog.

This entry was posted in Human Nature, Photography and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

18 Responses to WordPress’ Weekly Photo Challenge: Unfocused

  1. You have a true artist eye. What a simple grater becomes an inspiring , stunning work of Art through your lens. Every picture creates an emotional, motivational journey. Beautiful!

  2. Geoff says:

    My favourite one? I love the contrast and subtle tonings of the grater. The riotous colour of the flowers gave my monitor an excuse for a good stretch. My favourite would be the knife … grainy and blurred it speaks of possibilities and pasts. Not least because the two ‘business’ ends being the handle and the point are the most blurred for the viewer. Nice work. Nicely put together blog too … I’m off for a walk around 🙂

    • Geoff, thanks for your thoughtful comments–what I adore about this blogging journey is meeting others that are passionate about photography and writing. Your work is edgy, polished and sumptuous. Delighted to see your photographs. Thanks for visiting, Sally

  3. munchow says:

    You certainly accomplished and created a “wow” factor with the pictures of kitchen utensils. The flower pictures are beautiful, but also something I have seen before, while the photos of the grater and the knife are wonderful in their new approach. You ask which one best captures the essence of the word unfocused. For me that is unimportant. I think challenges like this are great in pushing photographers to do something different, but in the end I as a viewer only look for good pictures and want to interpret them any way I want. In this respect unfocus in itself is less interesting, but the challenge made you to come up with some truly amazing pictures. I love them all, but if I were to pick a favourite it would be the knife. It holds so much drama and possible interpretations – it almost like a whole story within its simplicity – that I keep coming back to it all the time. Great work!

    • Thank you for your thoughtful commentary–my mother was an abstract expressionist painter, and I was taught to view art, just as you said: it’s all personal and directly from the individual’s way of seeing. And I agree about the challenge; it did push the edges of my thinking. While I was shooting the knife, I was thinking of a person throwing it, and watching it land handle up and point down. Thanks again, Sally

  4. Amy says:

    I nominated you for the Kreativ and Very Inspiring blogger awards. I see you have accepted the Kreativ award, Congrats!

    • Amy, that’s lovely. I’m truly appreciative. Yes, I was nominated in April for the Kreativ Blogger award, and responded to that nomination on my 19 April post. Hope that you’ll enjoy my next post with Spring Oriental red poppies, which I will dedicate to you. Thanks again, Sally

      • Amy says:

        The other is Inspiring award. I downloaded the award picture on my recent post–“If you build it…” Take a look if you like. I look forward to seeing the Oriental red poppies! Thank you so much, Sally!

      • Thank you Amy, and I feel honored to be nominated for it, Sally

  5. I find the knife ominously unfocused.

    Steve Schwartzman

  6. Wow, the colour on that Azalea is amazing! Doesn’t even look real. Beautiful!

  7. It is number 7 for me.

  8. marialla says:

    The flower ones are the best – maybe because flowers are in colour, but black and white ones interesting in terms of effect and perspective, not subject matter.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s