Virginia Mak: The Art of Soft Focus

Virginia Mak, On One’s Own #9

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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.

Virginia Mak, Hidden Nature #7

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Virginia Mak, Character Reference #1

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Virginia Mak, Character Reference #12

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Virginia Mak, Small Song For the Firefly #6

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Virginia Mak, Small Song For the Firefly #12

 

Image Credits: Virginia Mak

Brian Deignan: Memory, Imagination and Wonder

Barn, Nova Scotia

Brian Deignan, “House with View, Nova Scotia”

Because it is so unusual, the work of a highly-skilled photographic artist who intentionally seeks to blur his images stands out to me.  Such are the mysterious images produced by Brian Deignan, a Toronto-area fine art photographer originally from Montreal and who also has lived in several parts of the U.S.  Unlike typical bokeh photographs — where the subject is in focus against a blurred background — Deignan’s entire subject is out of focus.  The resulting impressionistic images resemble paintings and conjure up deeper thoughts that often elude sharply focused photographs.   Deignan hints at this with the following observation from his portfolio website:  “People, places, things are what I photograph; memory, imagination, wonder are how.” Very nicely stated!

See more of Deignan’s images at his site here.

CROSSWALK#28

 Brian Deignan, “Crosswalk #28” (High Noon in Mississauga)

Winter Wonderland #10

Brian Deignan, “Winter Wonderland #10”

School Bus, Route 332

Brian Deignan, “School Bus, Route 332 — Nova Scotia”

SUNDAY DRIVE 25

Brian Deignan, “Sunday Drive #25”

Sunday Drive

Brian Deignan, “Sunday Drive #20”

Friday Night, Queen Near Spadina

 Brian Deignan, “Friday Night — Queen Near Spadina”

(Image Credits:  Brian Deignan)

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