I have always contended that the perception of sharpness is only a tool in our kit.
When you look at the great evocative images of landscapes, many are far from crisp razor-sharp. Ansel Adams, even given the huge negative size, by process produced end images that have an ethereal quality in their resolution. And we are all aware of the current trend to use log exposures on subjects that move to harness a softening of the image, and which can be effectively juxtaposed to any sharp static element in the frame.
These options in the perceived sharpness of the imagery seek to give us divergence away from the factual representation, to an endpoint where we are presenting differing qualities of an image to evoke a feeling in the audience as a narrative. In other words, we seek to emote; we want not to ‘wish you were there’, but ‘to feel you were there’.
In order to explore this, I set myself a project where the goal was to capture the feelings of the seasons, where sharpness was not necessary in the end image, but the form should still be natural and recognisable. The other limitation I imposed on myself was that the...