In a rush

Girl in a fancy dress rushing through an alley
Rush Hour | Bologna | 2021

“Sharpness is a bourgeois concept” is one of my favorite quotes from the godfather of street photography, Henri Cartier-Bresson (1908-2004). Not that I want to use it as a fig leaf to cover up the fact that I wasn’t able to capture a tack sharp image of this couple being in a rush in a dark alley in Bologna’s historic old town on a late Thursday evening. Image specs are 1/15 sec @ f/5 and ISO 3200 with a 80mm focal length.

Shooting with my OM-D E-M1X and the 12-100 F/4 I was already borderline with my settings for this late evening in the dark alleys. But instead of packing up the camera and heading back to the hotel I just kept shooting, looking for exact those atmospheric street scenes, were motion blur adds to the story rather than being just a technical imperfect image.

And I just love the motion of her dress, the way the light plays on it, the fact that both their right legs are pretty sharp while the rest of the couple’s bodies is in motion.

So next time you are out in the streets at low light, don’t call it a day to early, but keep experimenting with low shutter speeds.

If you are looking for tips and inspirations around street photography, check out my free Learning Center

Have a great Thursday


Related Posts:

Street Photography Quick Tip 8 – Capturing Gesture

Street Photography Quick Tip 9 – Motion Blur

Instant Inspiration (2) – Motion Blur

Instant Inspiration (28) – Handholding slow shutter speeds

19 thoughts on “In a rush

Add yours

  1. I must remember that quote. Great shot and I agree, sometimes visible movement helps tell the story behind the image. A bit of blur can be good.

  2. Motion, beautifully blurred motion… It tells a story sometimes even more than a sharp photo. This is absolutely stunning moment and I love how you created it very, very much!
    Marcus, have a nice and creative weekend!

  3. The fact the guy’s ankle is also in pretty sharp focus makes me think of the plane of focus you might get from a view camera…

  4. I guess there’s a time and place for “sharp” and “not sharp because it’s not important right now”. This photo wouldn’t have been as good if it were sharp. I find myself going in both directions on this topic. Here in the Southwest, the entire landscape, everything is about texture…prickly, rough, fine. That means “sharp is what it’s all about”. For some of the street shots, however, “sharp” would be terrible. So, back to the first sentence. There’s a time and a place for both. I think this shot it wonderful and glad it’s in color.

  5. I have taken a few photos like this. You look it it and say Oh Crap and are just about to toss it in the bin when something makes you look again. Blur adds to the story for sure, as long as it is just the odd occasion. Hope all is well Marcus. Allan

  6. I think this shot works better than if it was sharp. Stepping out and moving through the moment. I agree it would be easy to overlook such a moment, nicely captured.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Up ↑