Soft-focus photography might appear easy to execute but doing it well and in a way that conveys feeling and meaning in the image is quite difficult. In her photos Toronto photographer Virginia Mak skillfully uses this technique to give her images a distinctly moody and ethereal effect that is more evocative of painting. In contrast to photographs rendered in sharp relief, viewers of Mak’s carefully blurred images are able to contemplate various possibilities of meaning and emotion suggested by her elegant minimalist compositions. The sampling shown here conjures up feelings of serenity, mystery, vulnerability, desire, longing and wistfulness.
Mak is represented by Toronto’s Bau-Xi Gallery and Calgary’s Newzones Gallery and more of her exquisite images can be seen on the sites for each of these galleries.
Image Credits: Virginia Mak
this was very evocative. love the song for the firefly #6
I totally get what she was going for – very nice!
Something deeper than the surface, for sure.
Love them all, especially the first one.
Yes, that’s quite a nice image. 🙂
I particularly like the first one as well. I like the sense of movement it conveys.
Liz, very much so! 🙂
I love these – particularly those featuring people.
The last two images of blurred points of light are more “classic” bokeh images, which always suggest some element of whimsy for me.
Yes, when I first started taking photos and blogging them years ago, I was fascinated when I came across classic bokeh images. I tried – and failed – at making some myself!
It’s tricky to do it well.
Intended blurriness is so hard to play with. You really have to master it not to make pictures just seem off-focus. Love the examples you chose of Virginia’s work… A true artist!! Thank you for sharing, Brett! 🙂 xx
Cyranny, thanks! Very much so. 🙂
These shots almost look like water colors.
I can see that. 🙂
Thanks, Victor! 🙂
I agree. Not just any old blurry picture will do.
I like the photos individually. I have to say, though, that looking at too many together gives me a bit of a headache. The images certainly are mysterious and evocative.
Judith, that’s an candid response. 🙂
My eyes kept trying to re-focus as I scrolled through the photos. Each one is beautiful. I just couldn’t “adjust”. It was a rather strange feelings. 🙂
The on-screen images are harder to view than the full size prints.
Oh, I’m sure that’s true. Our computer screens aren’t always “user friendly” when it comes to art and photography.
beautiful !! thanks for sharing
I usually associate soft focus with sappy greeting cards. I am glad to see what it looks like in the hands of an artist. Thanks.
Love soft focus photography… try it on occasion myself… definitely not easy to get it just right!
Dale, wonderful that you try your hand at that! 🙂
Lovely images and a beautifully written commendation of Virginia’s work, Brett.
Hi, Kate, thanks! 🙂
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Love these. Wow, they look like watercolour 🙂 So beautiful. I am now inspired to try it.
I hope you have fun with that! 🙂
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Beautiful photography; I really enjoyed this post
I struggle to insert this style into my own work. Bravo
Me too! 🙂
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So very very different, intriguing