Sometimes Life is Little Blurry

Sometimes Life is Little Blurry

On a recent trip to New York City, I was standing at a train station waiting for the train to stop.  I had just made a dash through a thicket of people as rush hour was starting, having lost track of time while walking around the financial district.  I needed to get back up to mid town Manhattan to meet a friend and was worried I would be late.  I made it to the platform just as the train I needed arrived.

As I waited for the train to come to a complete stop, I glanced left and saw the gentleman engrossed in his electronic device.  With only seconds before the train doors would open to a flood of people exiting and entering, I reached into my bag, retrieved my Fuji X100 while making quick guestimate exposure settings in one fluid movement and held it up one handed to snap this shot.  There was no time to get a proper focus or check settings.  Luckily, the camera was set to auto ISO up to 1600 (which it needed in the low light).  I spun the aperture to its widest of f/2 as I pulled it from the bag.  The shutter happened to be at 1/30, way slow for a one handed operation.  I mashed the shutter button with no idea where the focal point was - not that it mattered under the shooting conditions.

Of course, the image was a bit blurry.  It was also a bit grainy.  The more I looked at it later, the more I didn't care.  Something about it just works for me.  Some of you might be thinking by now, "So you took a crappy picture, converted it to B&W, and declared it an artistic shot!"  I don't want to be that guy.  Believe me, I'll delete an image without hesitation before I'll try to force a bad shot to work.  Before I took this I had decided that the majority of my shots on this trip would be in B&W.  I was going that route anyway.  I will say that the B&W rendition is more conducive to an effective image with it being out of focus than the color version.  Funny how that works.

I think the image is effective because all the important bits of information are defined just enough.  You can tell the guy is intensely focused on his device.  The people in the background are just enough in focus to show that many of them are similarly engaged in a book or electronic device while waiting.  The train is just slightly in motion.  The moment is a blur, which is how it felt at the time.  Not a second or two after this was captured, it all changed and a flurry of activity erupted as the doors opened.  Sometimes a blurry glance is all you get of a moment.  Sometimes that is all you need.