The Unfocused Art

Bokeh; a popular word that echoes almost every day, around the world of photography. You might wonder what’s so great about Bokeh. It’s the new fad, and photographers just do not stop admiring the blobs of out of focused objects or lights they achieve (or at least try to, in case of amateur photographers) in their pictures. Yup just blobs of out of focused objects or lights. Bokeh is said to describe the rendition of out-of-focus points of light. This technique is sought after even when the conventional preference for clear sharp images is known to be the ‘dominant culture’ in this field.

To go on about the history would make this yet another history piece which can be searched upon, on the Internet. So to keep it short and simple, this technique was first developed in Japan, and the word ‘bokeh’ is derived from a Japanese word ボケ, pronounced as “boke”. It means fuzziness or dizziness.

Bokeh is actually a very simple technique; all one needs to do is click pictures when your subject of interest is in clear sharp focus, while the background is a blur to the point where the point of lights look like geometrical figures. It not only requires certain knowledge to do this kind of photography, but even lenses play a very important role in capturing bokeh pictures. Expensive as they are, these lenses are built with high aperture points, so that it gets easier to achieve that blur in the background.

Bokeh photography is often confused with depth of field photography. They both are different yet similar. Depth of field pictures can be recognized when the obvious focused subject is placed against out of focused backgrounds or foreground. Bokeh pictures are more about how the camera renders the light in the blur areas (especially how they turn out in different shapes like circles or hexagons.)


Bokeh Photography vs. Depth of Field Photography

Now-a-days, the Internet has been an excellent portal for teaching the amateurs more about Bokeh photography; from what kinds of lenses to use to what kind of extra material one can use to create even more special bokeh shapes. Lenses could be as simple as a 50 mm lens that one can purchase for his/her camera, and extra material? Black chart paper! Yes, we can cut out circular bases as large as the diameter of the lenses and attach a strip of paper around the base to form a ‘hood’ so that the base stays on the lens. Moreover, you can cut out shapes in the middle of the bases as large as 15 mm; the shapes range from hearts, stars, hexagons and even smiley faces! It’s like another scope of creativity altogether, attached to Bokeh photography.

(All images belong to the author of this blog. Do not attempt to steal or use without taking prior permission)

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