New Posts New Posts RSS Feed - Bokeh?
  FAQ FAQ  Forum Search   Events   Register Register  Login Login

Check GunBroker.com for SWFA's No Reserve and No Minimum bid firearm auctions.

Bokeh?

 Post Reply Post Reply   Topic Search Topic Search  Topic Options Topic Options
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/13/2015 at 14:55
Skylar McMahon View Drop Down
TEAM SWFA - Admin
TEAM SWFA - Admin
Avatar

Joined: April/05/2011
Location: TEXAS
Status: Offline
Points: 5511
Allright guys here's a new one.
 
With help from Ted, my photos are improving, however I was reading last night and I'm a bit confused with Bokeh.
 
Can someone help to break this photography skill down and explain it?
 
In addition to that, is this achievable with a point and shoot camera?
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/13/2015 at 16:03
SEMO Shooter View Drop Down
Optics Apprentice
Optics Apprentice
Avatar

Joined: January/06/2013
Location: SE Missouri
Status: Offline
Points: 127
A very simple explanation of Bokeh would be having a desired out of focus area in a photo.  For example if you take a portrait photo you may want the background blurred so that your subject is what draws your attention.  Bokeh can be used to draw the eye to the item you want to stand out in your photo.

How is Bokeh achieved?  The easiest way for me to get Bokeh in a photo is to use a wide open aperture setting which creates a shallow depth of field.  A shallow depth of field can also be accentuated by zooming your lens to a high magnification.  With a shallow depth of field, the item you focus on will be in focus, and the background or foreground will be out of focus.

You can do this with a point and shoot camera if your camera has a mode selection A (aperture).  With that you can choose the aperture setting or f stop.  A wide open aperture will be one of the lowest number f stops and will have a shallow depth of field.   The higher number apertures will have a deeper depth of field, or more things in focus front to rear.  So a f5.6 aperture is larger aperture than a f18.  Depth of field is the amount distance front to rear in a photo that is in focus, or at least close to being in focus.

Photographers use aperture and other settings to determine the composition of a photo.  In other words they have a mental image they want to create, and use the camera along with technical knowledge of  of camera settings to create a photo.  They have an artistic ability to create a picture with a camera similar to the artistic ability a painter needs to create a painting.

And then there are people like me that don't have the artistic touch.  I understand a lot of the technical side of taking pictures, and sometimes take pretty nice pictures, but I don't have that artistic creative ability.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/14/2015 at 09:44
RifleDude View Drop Down
MODERATOR
MODERATOR
Avatar

Joined: October/13/2006
Location: Texas
Status: Offline
Points: 14313
Semo pretty much covered it.

The word "bokeh" comes from a Japanese word meaning "blur."

Specifically, in photographic terms, it is the aesthetic quality of out of focus areas in an image. "Good" bokeh means that the out of focus areas are buttery smooth, without any distracting shapes or graininess.

As Semo stated, you achieve it by controlling your lens depth of field -- making DOF shallow -- so that anything outside your subject's focus plane is far enough out of focus that there are no distracting details to detract from the subject. Your eyes are naturally drawn to sharply defined details in an image. "Good bokeh" surrounding your subject both simplifies the image by removing unwanted, distracting details and emphasizes your subject. At the same time, it provides a nice, smooth, colorful background for your subject that makes the image "pop."

Portrait photography is an example of a type of photography where "good" bokeh is highly desirable, because subject isolation is very important when taking good photos of people, pets, etc. This, along with the flattering effect mid telephoto focal lengths have on people's faces is why super fast aperture lenses in the 70mm to 150mm range are most often used for serious portrait work. 85mm prime lenses with max apertures in the f/1.2 - f/2 range are considered "classic" portrait lenses, and good examples of those lenses are bokeh machines.

There are multiple ways to achieve nice looking bokeh. As Semo said, the most obvious way is to use a wide open aperture. The larger the aperture ("f-stop"... smaller f-number is larger aperture), the shallower the depth of field. It's also easier to get nice bokeh with a longer focal length lens because as focal length (or magnification) increases, depth of field correspondingly decreases. The shorter the focal length, the wider the aperture required to achieve a shallow enough DOF for nice bokeh.

You can still produce good bokeh by controlling the distance between the camera and the subject and the subject to the background. The closer your subject is to the camera and the further the background is from your subject, the more likely you'll be able to isolate your subject from the background, and the smaller aperture (larger f-number) is required to achieve subject isolation. So, if you're limited to a max aperture of, say f/5.6, you can still get nice bokeh in your image by increasing focal length (either zoom in or change to a longer lens), getting closer to your subject and increasing the distance between your subject and the background.

What is often forgotten is the fact that larger sensor sizes will produce "better" bokeh when comparing images of the same subject with the same framing, because you have to either get closer to the subject or use a longer focal length lens to fill the frame on a larger sensor size camera vs. one with a smaller sensor. Again, doing either (increasing focal length and/or getting closer to the subject) decreases the depth of field and produces better subject isolation... and correspondingly better bokeh. So, it's a bit easier to get nice bokeh with a full frame sensor camera than an APS-C sensor camera, an APS-C camera than a micro 4/3 camera, a micro 4/3 camera than a small sensor size point and shoot camera, etc. The smaller the sensor, the greater the focal length and the further your subject must be from the background required to get "good" bokeh.

Then, there's the aesthetic quality of the bokeh achieved, which is something the photographer has less control over. While this is a bit more subjective, in general, smoother and less "hectic" textures and shapes in the bokeh is better. This is controlled mostly by lens design. A high quality lens with fewer negative optical aberrations usually produces nicer looking bokeh. The shape of the aperture also affects the appearance of the bokeh. A lens with more aperture blades will produce a more rounded aperture shape, which usually results in smoother bokeh because it eliminates polygonal shapes in the out of focus areas of an image. The shape of your lens aperture also has a profound affect on the appearance of any lights in the background. If you want light sources in the background to have a multi-pointed star appearance, use a lens with more aperture blades. If your lens doesn't typically produce nice looking bokeh, you can still get decent bokeh by shooting your subject against backgrounds with less fine details. This is another reason why a high quality lens on a DSLR is capable of nicer looking bokeh than point and shoot cameras with fixed lenses.

Some examples of "good" bokeh are shown here:

http://www.thephotoargus.com/inspiration/40-beautiful-examples-of-bokeh-photography/






Edited by RifleDude - January/14/2015 at 15:23
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/14/2015 at 14:46
SEMO Shooter View Drop Down
Optics Apprentice
Optics Apprentice
Avatar

Joined: January/06/2013
Location: SE Missouri
Status: Offline
Points: 127
Ted is a photographer.  He has a vision for a photo, and if bokeh is his desired effect, he chooses proper camera settings, lenses, & focal distance to achieve that.

I am a picture taker.  I take pictures and sometimes neat effects like bokeh are a result.

To me the difference between real photographers and picture takers is the planning photographers use to achieve certain desired effects.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/14/2015 at 15:20
RifleDude View Drop Down
MODERATOR
MODERATOR
Avatar

Joined: October/13/2006
Location: Texas
Status: Offline
Points: 14313
Originally posted by SEMO Shooter SEMO Shooter wrote:

Ted is a photographer.


Thanks a lot for that, but not quite yet, brother...but I'm working on it!Smile

I'm still just an enthusiast/hobbyist who enjoys the challenge and continues to learn something new all the time.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/14/2015 at 15:39
SEMO Shooter View Drop Down
Optics Apprentice
Optics Apprentice
Avatar

Joined: January/06/2013
Location: SE Missouri
Status: Offline
Points: 127
Just to ad something Skylar don't think you have to own a super expensive DSLR to take good photos.  My wife has an Olympus DSLR and a Canon S-95 point & shoot.  She takes more pictures with the Canon because it so small and easy to always have with her.  I consider her an amateur photographer, and she does sometimes get paid to take portraits.

We belong to a local photography club that has over 100 members, from beginners to professional photographers.  Every year the club has a couple of contests with different categories, and a best in show overall winner.  The judges are professional photographers and artists.  When judged, the photos are not framed or matted, there are no names on them, and no information about the camera equipment used.  Two years ago my wife entered a very close up photo of a bumble bee on a flower that she had taken with her Canon S-95.  It won best in show.

So anytime someone thinks that a super expensive/good camera is necessary I tell them that story.  I suggest they learn what the settings on their camera do, and learn how to use them.  I urge them to experiment with different settings and see what the results are.  Learn what shooting in manual, aperture, and shutter modes can do.  I guess one of my biggest pet peeves is they will almost never read the manual that came with their camera, or make an effort to learn how it works.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/15/2015 at 01:19
daveco View Drop Down
Optics Apprentice
Optics Apprentice


Joined: January/15/2015
Location: Missouri
Status: Offline
Points: 88
I consistently get blurry photos, so I have seen a lot of bokeh.

some bokeh examples:
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/15/2015 at 07:57
Skylar McMahon View Drop Down
TEAM SWFA - Admin
TEAM SWFA - Admin
Avatar

Joined: April/05/2011
Location: TEXAS
Status: Offline
Points: 5511
Welcome to the OT Dave! Howdy
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/15/2015 at 08:26
SEMO Shooter View Drop Down
Optics Apprentice
Optics Apprentice
Avatar

Joined: January/06/2013
Location: SE Missouri
Status: Offline
Points: 127
Nice photos Dave.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/15/2015 at 12:09
RifleDude View Drop Down
MODERATOR
MODERATOR
Avatar

Joined: October/13/2006
Location: Texas
Status: Offline
Points: 14313
Welcome to OT, Dave! Very nice photos! We're glad you joined us!
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/15/2015 at 13:23
jonoMT View Drop Down
Optics Master Extraordinaire
Optics Master Extraordinaire
Avatar

Joined: November/13/2008
Location: Montana
Status: Offline
Points: 4613
I've seen some filters in a few apps too. Sometimes you can use one to achieve the effect.
 Post Reply Post Reply
  Share Topic   

Forum Jump Forum Permissions View Drop Down

Similar Threads: "Bokeh?"
Subject Author Forum Replies Last Post
There are no similar posts.


This page was generated in 0.219 seconds.