UNFOCUSED

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It was when I realized that I couldn’t clearly imagine the face of my grandma that I found the terrible side effect of time. No matter how hard I try to recall, I can only see a blurred profile with faded color but the surroundings are strangely clear. There is a sense of remoteness with closeness.

I always imagine that my memories are an everlastingly extending piece of film showing all the moments in my life. My eyes are just like the lens of camera and the subconsciousness works as the shutter. However, time is like a sharp blade clipping the film into countless fragments. And some keep the complete images but others are no longer seeable. With the process of overlapping, permeating and deteriorating, all the fragments construct the outline of our life. And some fragments will also be covered with the dust of time and lose their clearness if not being recalled for a long time.

When it comes to the most original form of photography, I think, in the essence, everyone is a photographer shooting his own photo album of life for the whole lifetime. The first image in your eyes when you wake up in the morning, the first person you meet, the first thing you want to do and all the structure of the vision are up to you. However, it is a kind of passive and automatic photographic action with no limitation of times and films. And everyone tends to neglect it when it becomes a common thing in life.

Recently, I have photographed two rolls of unfocused film with the fixed-focus camera. So the blur is not because the vibration but the distance from the lens to the objects. This kind of blur makes me feel helpless because when I chose to use the fixed-focus camera, it was destined that the images I wanted would be blurred. And there is difference from this kind of blur and the subjective blur created by slowing the shutter speed and making vibration. It is passive. It is a creation by the camera.

These unfocused images remind me of the blurred photographs I made when I learned to shoot by film camera. No matter what shutter speed and aperture, day and night, I photographed freely with random focus and shutter. I just had a desire to record the moments that I want to record and had no idea if the images would be clear or blurred.

All these blurred images make me feel helpless, just like the blurred memories.

 

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