I looked through my viewfinder and depressed my shutter button halfway, and the image didn’t focus. I could have stopped and turned the autofocus back on (I’d been shooting stars the night before, and autofocus really hates to do that), or I could have turned the focusing ring until the horizon was brought into sharp view. However, the purpose of this photo was a mood. It’s shortly after 6 am, chilly, and we don’t know what we’ll see today. We’re tired from about 8 hours of bouncing in the truck yesterday and looking to go about 13 hours today. The Serengeti feels magical and good, and the spirit of the place called to me for a new way of working (not exactly, but that’s a nice, poetic way to put it), so I deliberately shot an out-of-focus photo.
And you know what? It’s one of my two favorite landscape photos from the trip, and a good launch for my new direction of working with softer, more Impressionistic styles. Try it sometime – when your subject is clear enough and it’s more about a mood than “Oooo, look at that mountain!” You might like it.