19.02.12, Week 27: Blinds

by pbnb

The image above follows on from last week’s nicely for a few reasons: the image is abstract in comparison to most of the images I take, it makes use of a narrow depth of field and it’s taken using the window in my bedroom. However, unlike last week the image has a lot more warmth to it, mostly derived from the rich colour of the blinds and the golden rays of late afternoon sun from a cold winter’s day pouring through the window.

I’m really pleased with the softness of the image as it’s a technique I tend to struggle with on two levels. Mostly because I’m quite precise in nature so have a preference for sharp and neat lines which comes out in a lot of my photography, but also because I usually struggle to make soft focusing look good. Whilst it might sound easy, and I’m sure many photographers do find it so, I find composing a soft focus image hard because you have to make the out of focus parts of the image interesting rather than focusing on a particular point or feature. Therefore, the rule of thirds that I tend to stick to has to be applied in reverse; instead of concentrating on one-third of the image as your focal point, you are concentrating on the remaining two-thirds without any particular focus. Moreover, the third that is focused on still has to be sharp in order to ensure that the image provides a good contrast, but not too obvious to nullify the effect of the soft focus.

For once, however, I’m pleased with the soft focus of this image. I like the way the lines of the blind merge together in the bottom right hand corner of the image and almost create a second exposure type of effect. By using such a narrow depth of field I’ve managed to distort the shape of the blind’s slats which instead of being straight and square appear to be rounded and curved throughout the image. I like the repetition of the blind’s slats throughout the image, but also the way in which they all look slightly different due to the effect just described.

The angle at which I’ve taken the shot allows the lines created by the slats to converge in the right hand side of the image’s top third. I think this serves to extenuate the effect of the soft focusing as the lines merge into one as they converge. I also like the manner in which the light shines through the holes in the slats that house the blind’s strings. Again, these approximately mark the vertical middle third of the image from the outer two-thirds.

I received an email earlier in the week from the Student Union’s Communications Officer advertising the Alan Gilbert Learning Commons Image Competition which aims to collect some artwork to put in the new building. I’ve just had a look at it and it closes tomorrow, so I’ve made this post a bit shorter to give me chance to arrange a selection of images to enter into the competition. I stand a chance to win an iPod Touch or a Kindle Keyboard 3G, so that would be a nice bonus.


This week I haven’t listened to much music, but I’m listening to Iron & Wine’s Our Endless Numbered Days whilst I write this and sort images to enter into the competiton. The album continues my current liking for cut back music but with an almost country feel to it and quite a driving beat throughout most of the songs. The music tends to make me forget about everything else that’s going on around me; it’s nice to escape for a little while into a world of images and music.


      • Date taken: 13.02.12
      • Aperture: f/1.8
      • Speed: 1/2500 sec
      • ISO: 250
      • Focal length: 35mm