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)

Lines to paint; it’s all about art!

Art workshops are a rare treat these days. It’s always hard to take time out from this fast paced life and attend a few. But when brought to you, why miss the chance!

The Interior Design department at Manipal University conducted an amazing workshop for us, the Visual Communication students and for a few Interior Design students too, on Sunday, 29th April. It was held in one of the workshops at Manipal Dubai and was conducted by Ms. Sujata Dharap, an artist settled in India, who’s currently visiting Dubai to display her artworks in an exhibition at the Dubai Community Theatre and Arts Centre (DUCTAC).

A jolly wonderful person, she spent three hours with us talking about the very basics of art to the very intricacies and styles each individual develops along the time once they develop the passion for it.

“Artists, unlike graphic designers are not bound by any briefs; we do what our heart feels like doing, no boundaries.” – Ms. Dharap

She believes art is all about experiencing it first, and then making meaning out of it. Unless you don’t experience it, the art you make becomes redundant. For her, it all starts with abstract lines and slowly builds up to those brilliant pieces of art she has under her name.


Some of her works (http://www.sujatadharap.com/)

During the workshop, we were assigned multiple tasks; from basic random forms on our notebooks, to pastel coloring on paper, to abstract paintings using just red, blue, and yellow! Boy it was fun! Being a person who’s really fussy on dirtying hands, I ended having paint all over my fingers and nails; had to break my obsessive behavior somehow right?

Random doodles!


Pastel love!


Red, blue, yellow. All our works put together!

At the end, she advised us to enjoy and ‘feel’ the art we do, than just do something that can be labelled off using theoretical learnings, thus making it boring.

Ms. Dharap and a few of us at the end of the day! (Image courtesy: Arathi)

Signing off…