I saw a picture by Sparadrap and his legend is eloquent:
my idea of fun on new year’s eve: pretending i’m michael ackerman and shoot blurry pictures of people minding their own business.
I may read a bit too much in it, but I always hear in this kind of comments an underlying, unspoken thought, that would be along these lines:
Oh I know it’s not really good, but let’s pretend I’m doing it for fun and let’s not comment on the (un)esthetic aspect of it.
I commented there, I will comment here a bit more lengthily.
Here is a picture taken by Stephanie a few months ago:
I love the story this picture tells, of a family having fun for no precise reason at dinner time, of a dad (that would be me) waltzing with his daughter in his arm. And guess what? Stephanie said
I failed to take the picture, it’s ugly. Judge for yourself.
Every time I look at it I remember post-war journalists/photographers, taking pictures of normal people in normal situations, doing it more as testimony than as art.
Think of names like Henry Cartier-Bresson, Robert Doisneau, Willy Ronis and the likes of them. (yes, they have more talent than my girlfriend or me will ever have, but you get my point)
At the time they took their pictures, my take is that they had a dual approach: sometimes they tried to have an artistic and/or esthetic stand with an image, stopped in their tracks and took the time to compose their shot, lighting, etc. Some other times they had to be witnesses of the moment, witnesses of their times, witnesses of their civilisation.
The blur didn’t count. What was told was what mattered.
So let us stop being shy and apologising about our blurry pictures. Some pictures tell other people about our craftsmanship, and some capture a story. That’s not such a bad bargain in itself, is it?