As interpreted by Wikipedia, bokeh is the aesthetic quality of the blur seen in the out-of-focus parts of a photographic image produced by a lens. The word is derived from the Japanese boke which means ‘blur’ or ‘haze’, or boke-aji, which means ‘blur quality’. The word has been in photographic circles use since 1966, popularized through magazines in 1997, and has appeared in photography books since 1998.
Bokeh Photography Tutorial
Bokeh is actually a characteristic of a photograph, and it is affected by the shape of the diaphragm blades (the aperture) of the lens. A lens with more circular shaped blades will have rounder, softer orbs of out-of-focus highlights, whereas a lens with an aperture that is more hexagonal in shape will reflect that shape in the highlights.
Creating the Environment
In theory, to achieve bokeh in an image, you will need to use a fast lens, the faster the better. Try to go for a lens with at least a f/2.8 aperture, or faster if you have one. Apertures of f/2, f/1.8 or f/1.4 are ideal. These are where primes (fixed focus lenses) are favored.
The only additional gear that you need for this setup is tripod and subjects that have ample distance between them. By increasing the distance between the subject and the background, you can still achieve bokeh in you images even if they are shot at smaller apertures like f/4.
Increase the distance between your subject and the background, you can do this as well by decreasing the distance between the camera and subject. The further the distance of the background, out of the DOF range of the aperture setting, the more out-of-focus it will be.
Choosing the Subject
Very popular subjects that can be created to show nice bokeh are portraits where close-ups can be the creative. Images of flowers and other objects in nature, done with close-up or macro lenses are also interesting subjects, and while you are on the vacation of your life, try the sights (and sound) of the nightlife with ample display of lighted objects dispersed over a larger distance.
Time to go and get ahead now:
- Use the largest aperture available on your lens to isolate the subject from its background.
- Use a fast lens, the more light you can let in, the more you can decrease depth of field.
- If you have one, use a zoom lens, this too will separate the subject from the rest of the scene.
- Move in, get as close to your subject as you can, the effect is just like using a macro lens.
How to Achieve Better Bokeh - 4 Simple Tips
Bokeh for Beginners | Achieving Bokeh in Photographs | Bokeh Effect Tips & Tricks from Nikon
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