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People Pictures: 30 Exercises for Creating Authentic Photographs by Chris Orwig

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14. Blur and the Passage of Time

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Most portrait course instructors will tell you that the eyes need to be tack sharp. Yet, every rule can be broken in order to create a different effect. In this case, the lack of focus and muted tones create a thoughtful mood and ambiguity that isn’t resolved. The piercing yet blurry eye contact invites the viewer to think.

Canon 5DMii, 85mm lens, f/2.2

WE TAKE PICTURES to slow life down. We want to add permanence, perspective, and purpose to our lives. Pictures can etch our memories and experiences in stone so that the weather cannot wash them away. We create these photographs to bring clarity to what feels like ...

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