There are few truly absolute rules in photography. For example…does a photo always have to be in sharp focus to be acceptable? Or, on occasion, can a blurred image actually prove a usable depiction?
I'd say the in-focus, non-blurred pix is usually the best, though not always—a hedging-the-bet answer, for sure. But the truth is, this is one of those arguments that must be judged from a point of personal preference, and on an individual image basis. What works for me might not be to your liking, and vice versa. There's also the element of technical proficiency vs. artistic rendering—as well as plain old dumb luck.
The latter is the truth behind the photo of the (I think) dark-phase female tiger swallowtail above. It was a windy morning on the little bit of prairie up the road. The tall grasses and bright wildflowers were swaying like ballroom dancers at a summer fête. And the butterflies were flapping and flitting about, sipping from a purple coneflower here and a spray of bee balm there, in constant battle with the gusty breeze, always on the move, always in motion; moving targets, every last colorful one of 'em.
I didn't mean to make the shot you see…it just came out this way. But I like it. In fact, it may be my favorite of the lot from that morning's shooting. I'll post some of the others over the next few days. But right now, I'd like to hear your comments…does a photo have to be sharp, or can blurry be beautiful?