I've always been a nut about critical sharpness, and crisp images. A part of my shooting style has always been about images that mimic the F64 school, not only in focus but framed for maximum depth of field. But recently I've been bugged by how a lot of times, that doesn't capture the character of the subject, kind of like shooting a racecar at 1/4000 of a second. Is it a racecar, or just a model car parked? Here are four examples from a project I'm shooting for a not for profit, where what they want me to capture is a spirit of joy and celebration, while still capturing the character of the subjects. Here's where I think a perfectly sharp, still image would be worse, not better. Your opinions welcome, as I'm wrestling with this...I'm very good at panning, which gives me a big advantage in this kind of shot. First shot: indoors, horrible flourescent lights, iso 400, but couldn't get a shutter speed over 1/20th at f4. But when mom started playing "superbaby" with her little girl, I just started shooting, tracking the face on each toss and praying that I got one sharp one. 20 frames. I got one sharp one, and only the baby's laughing face and eyes are sharp. Does it work or not? Outdoors, two little boys who were bundles of mad energy. Same theme, same "capture the character." iso 200, slow shutter speeds, panning with the subject with a flash late in the shot. Does it work or not? The parents went crazy for them (they're NOT the client) and the agency is over the moon and asking me to re-shoot some other photog's work. But I'm sitting here going "but it's not critically sharp..." AAAARRRGGH! Please, your advice. Am I growing up a bit, or straying from the path?