Is That an Artistic Photograph? Or Just a Lousy Shot?

You could ask the photographer, or just decide yourself

Mark Ali
Full Frame

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A merry-go-round, depicted with motion blur
“Merry-Go-Round” (© Mark Ali)

It should go without saying — but I’ll say it anyway — sometimes photography can get rather “artsy”.

In other words, not every photograph needs to be perfectly exposed and tack sharp.

I know what you’re thinking — “Yeah, no kidding — artistic photography isn’t exactly a new concept there, genius.

And you’d be correct. (Though I could do without the attitude.)

What I want to talk about is differentiating between an artistic photo and a bad shot. How can you tell which it is?

Two ways — you could ask the photographer, or you could just decide for yourself.

There are Always Two Answers

The image above of a merry-go-round (or “carousel” or “roundabout”, depending on where you’re from) is not “sharp”.

Obviously. At least not all of it.

Did I screw up and not use a shutter speed that’s fast enough? Or did I do it on purpose? Can you tell?

In other words, is this an artistic image? Or just a photographic mistake?

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Mark Ali
Full Frame

I’m a writer, a photographer, a music lover, and a professional ice sculptor. I’m kidding about that last thing. (View my portfolio at: markaliphotos.com)