How to Botch Your Photos

The confused photo. A photo does not need to be crowded or empty to make it unclear what the subject is. The tranquil scene and its decaying boundaries join to create a peaceful melancholy.

Manuel de la photo ratée – Thomas Lélu.

Hilarious guide to a wide variety of creative ways to botch your photos. For every way, and various combinations, the author provides examples from his family album, as well as detailed instructions on how to create each particular effect. As a bonus he delivers an artistic critique of each type of photo.

In the technical part of the book we encounter such old favourites as fuzzy, over- / underexposed or ill-framed photos – including the popular road-photo, but also highlights such as the thumb-snap or the discoloured photo.

The more challenging chapters on subject matter provide insight into how to create empty, crowded or confused photos. A dedicated chapter explains how to ruin portraits. My particular favourites are the photo-triste (sad) and photo-camouflage.

While I cannot claim to be a master of the botched photo, I consider myself a gifted amateur, and humbly present my own examples for a select few of these techniques, in particular of my own specialty, the fuzzy photo. With a minimum of practice, I’m sure you too will be able to produce such results.

Of course – despite all my best efforts – I sometimes produce photos that have a discernible subject in the frame that is in focus and properly lit.

Nobody is perfect.

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