Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Secrets of creating bokeh...

Hey, nice bokeh! Thanks?...
what I was really thinking was, 
"great, I'm thrilled you like it, but WHAT is it?!
And how do I do it AGAIN?"  
Bokeh has been defined as "the way the lens renders out-of-focus points of light". Bokeh occurs for parts of the scene that lie outside the depth of field.  Often bokeh is pronounced "boh-kay" and referred to as  the aesthetic quality of the blur.
How do you achieve it?  Open up your lens’ aperture to its widest setting (this is the F number), strangely the lower the F number the larger the aperture. (I know...who makes these decisions that confuse me?)  Lenses with low F numbers like 2.8, 2.0, 1.8, 1.4 and lower are your best choices for ‘Bokeh Shots’. (Oh yes, not every lens can go this low! low can you go...not that low.) Often a standard 50 mm lens is recommended. And you need to use your manual setting (a scary setting for this newbie) on your DSLR camera. Oh, a tripod is helpful too.
For a little more info see (here) and for a more in depth article see Photographic Psychology (here).  For a great example of what I'm talking about, watch this video.
 “You don’t take a photograph, you make it.” Ansel Adams
I realize people don't "get" that photography is
more then the quality of your camera,
a good photo is made by the one click'n the camera,
not the camera itself!
(Finally last night, I captured our Christmas tree after 
hours of reading and experimenting...I took
this shot from the next room. My next purchase
will be a Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II Lens!
I already feel like a golfer with 9 putters...)

It still bugs me when people say,
"your camera takes really good pictures".
That's like saying guns kill people...
(sorry, I know that is a crass thing to say, but it honestly is the same thing!)
(I love this technique and look forward to that new standard lens!)

That Ansel Adams quote was talking about the ability to
skillfully use a camera technique
and that composing the subject in a pleasing way,
turns a photo into art.
It ain't easy but it's so addictive to finally get it right!
(My final capture was at midnight...yawn.)
Just do it, join a photography group
or start a blog to talk about this wonderful hobby!

Share in comments your favorite group
or any comment is great, I love hearing from you!
Happy Click'n!


  1. Yes, very interesting effects boken, beautiful photos. Greetings.

  2. Great thoughts on Bokeh, have a bokeh new year.

  3. nice images, love the effects.
    Thanks for checking out my blog, btw. too bad you missed the meteors! Same time next year!
    In case you were interested, I've just released a series of Photography Assignment generators for the iphone/ipod.
    They contain over 100 individual assignments, and thousands of potential random objects, combinations, places, and scavenger hunt lists.

    There is a free version you can download to try them out! You can get them on the app store here:
    Full info including tutorial videos here:
    Hope you'll check them out!
    Any questions, fire me an email
    Happy shooting


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