I was out the other night and saw this old apple tree silhouetted against the sky. I took two exposures – one in focus and the other out-of-focus – then combined the two.
It’s kind of a boring title, but the results really got me exited. I usually use blur to obscure inconvenient background detail in a photo. I’ll illustrate with some photos I took last week end.
In this photo I have used a blur (and darkening) to obscure the background visible around the sides of the column.
In the next photo, I used a mild blur and allowed it into more of the photo. I used it on the trees in the background and some of the stone pavers on the left side to force the viewer’s eye back to the wall that I want to be the key element in the photo.
Then I got wild. I combined a severe blur with a complex mask that allowed the blur to show over much of the photo. A bit of touch-up to mask to remove the blur from a couple of key details in the photo (the chair, the alley ruts and the clothesline) and I had a whole new feeling in the picture. The mill buildings in the background still loom menacingly over the scene, but now they don’t distract from it.