Do Photos Have To Be In Focus To Be Good Or Interesting?

What do you think?

There are thousands of photographs from the history of photography that are not in focus.  So why do people get upset when a photograph is out of focus?

It really depend on the photo. That’s my opinion at least.

Photos don’t have to be perfectly in focus to be interesting.

Out of focus photo

This photo from a NYC subway is soft because I did not want to look like a creepy dude making a photograph of the dude standing that close to me.

So I did the fake “looking at my screen” quick framing and capture. The photo is super interesting and a fun “street photograph” although it’s in a subway stop. But as I said, it’s not perfectly in focus.

If this photograph was of someone I was hired to photograph then focus would matter.

If this photograph as a loved one then I would want it in focus, and it would matter.

So focus priority is a matter of perception, desire and need.

For this photo, it’s unnecessary.

Thanks for reading,


This Post Has 3 Comments

  1. It’s all in the context of the image. Had that gentleman suffered a seizure and fallen in front of a train a few moments after your image, your photo would be everywhere… and nobody would care that it’s out of focus.

  2. Sharp focus may or may not be important to a photo. I love shooting with my Holga camera. They’re notorious for soft focus, light leaks and all kinds of “bad” things. I don’t care. The photos have stories, real or imagined that I love.

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