If the winners of the 2011 Portfolio Contest in B&W and Color Magazine (Issue 86, October 2011) are any indication, the way to win a color photography contest is to use motion blur. Blurry trees, blurry people, blurry lights, blurry water, blurry buildings. No fewer than 16 of the 85 published portfolios (19%) featured motion blur prominently in several or all of their published photographs. Close-ups of grungy, distressed, rusted, crumbling, or paint-spattered surfaces came in second place with 10 of the published portfolios (12%).
I don’t mean to sound disparaging, because I like motion blur too—really. I like the wide variety of impressions it can produce (moody, speedy, dreamy, unsettling, ethereal, purely abstract). I like the wide variety of ways it can be achieved (moving objects, moving camera, moving everything, motion blur filters in Photoshop). It’ fun, it’s playful, it’s serendipitous. I’ve played around with motion blur a bit, but clearly, if I want to have some work published, I would do well to practice it some more.
Tim Messick Photography • Graphics
Copyright © 2011 Tim Messick. All rights reserved.