Sure, a good photograph is all about the subject — but what about the background? What’s behind the subject (and what’s in front) can either give a detailed sense of the scene, or put more emphasis on the subject by blurring the distractions into dreamy shapes and colors known as bokeh.
The word "bokeh" comes from the Japanese word for "blur."
Bokeh is the quality of out-of-focus or “blurry” parts of the image rendered by a camera lens –
it is NOT the blur itself or the amount of blur in the foreground or the background of a subject. This blur in the foreground/ background in photography that separates a subject is the result of shallow “depth of field” and is generally simply called “background blur”.
The quality and feel of the background/foreground blur and reflected points of light, however, is what photographers call Bokeh. So in other words the repeated shape of the aperture is the book.
Why Is Aperture Important for Bokeh
As stated above appreture is what detemines the blurred repeated shapes of light. Bokeh is almost entirely down to the lens you use and the apperature you set. To acheive a bohek you must manipulate
the aperture, you get a focal distance and a focal point.
That’s why the widest aperture of your lens is important. Aperture ranges from f/2.8 at its widest, all the way up to f/22 at its deepest.
If we use an aperture of f/2.8, we get a very shallow depth of field. The depth of field is how much of our scene or subject is in focus. F/22 would be the opposite, placing everything in focus.
The wider the aperture, the more background blur will appear in your image.
Why Is Distance Important for Bokeh
Aperture is the most important area when it comes to bokeh, followed by depth of field or how much of your scene is in focus. In addition to aperture, distance also plays a significant role in blurring parts of your photograph.
The distance relates to the camera and the subject as opposed to the subject and the background.You can achieve a large amount of great bokeh blur in a photograph using f/2.8, even if you are far from your subject. This is because the focal distance is very small.On the flip side, if you place yourself very close to a subject while using a medium aperture, such as f/8, the background will come out blurred.
This is due to the background being much farther away from the subject than the camera is.This is a great tip to know if your lens only drops down to f/5.6, as many zoom lenses do.
Of course, one of the most important parts of producing great bokeh is how your photo is lit.If you’re in controlled conditions where you can adjust your light and want to experiment, then you may find that opening your aperture wide works best.
Remember, this is going to have the smoothest results, and produce the largest bokeh.
How to ... "Bokeh"
... Bokeh Basic Camera Settings
Start by setting up your camera to optimize bokeh. You need a large aperture, such as f/1.4, f/1.8 or f/2. Aperture settings affect the depth of field. In bokeh photography, you want a shallow field depth, which means a low f-stop number. This allows you to apply the technique of blurring to the background while your subject remains in focus. Set your camera to aperture priority.
In aperture priority mode, you can either let your camera determine your shutter speed or use customized settings of 1/50 second or faster. If you go slower than this, the background blurs too much, negating the circled light effect. This can darken an image, but don’t be tempted to go for a higher f-stop number. Try instead to increase the ISO level.
Subjects and Lighting
Bokeh is easier to achieve if you can get close to your subject. If necessary, use your zoom to help. You’ll also find that when the background is bright — i.e. street lamps at night or bright sun behind your subject — bokeh will occur more naturally.
Intro Assignment: Questions
Using the link and the text on this page answer the following questions in a google doc.
Part ONE: Shooting Assignment
Take 10 abstract Bokeh light background
Using the tips and your DSLR camera takes 4 good shots of some abstract Bokeh Light Backgrounds. Try to see if you can get different colors and such. REMEBER just because its abstract doesn't mean it doesn't follow the rule of thirds!!!! I will be bringing in Christmas lights and such so we can have a photo shoot in class
Take 2 Moving Bokeh
take 4 depths of Field Bokeh
4 "shaped" Bokeh ( extra Credit)
Part two :photoshop Montage of Bokeh and portiats
1 Color Range Bohek Portriat montage
using photo shop take one of your editied portriats use color range and your bokeh pics to create an abstract new portrait.
Use the tutorial below but instead of pasting in "Watercolor swatches paste in your bokeh)