Friday, December 04, 2009

december 04, 2009 :: bokeh tutorial

1_photooftheday

today's photo of the day is a little different than usual. people have often asked me how i get my "blurry backgrounds" in my photos or, in this case, the geometric patterns. today i'll fill you in a little. please know that i am not a professional photographer and i'm only sharing how i do it.

acorn bokeh

first of all, let's talk about what it's called. that blurry effect is called bokeh. (from what i understand, it's pronounced like "bouquet") according to wikipedia, the term comes from the japanese word boke (暈け or ボケ), which means "blur" or "haze", or boke-aji (ボケ味), the "blur quality". in photography, bokeh is the blur, or the aesthetic quality of the blur, in out-of-focus areas of an image, or the way the lens renders out-of-focus points of light.

acorn bokeh

how to get it: i only have 2 lenses for my camera. the one that produces the best bokeh is my 50 mm lens. (although you can certainly accomplish it with others) what you want to do is create a very short depth of field. in layman terms, this means you want a very small portion of your photo to be in tight focus while the rest is blurred. i'm sure you can probably do this in a number of ways, but for me, i do this by using a very large aperture or f-stop. (remember, the smaller the number, the larger your aperture)

acorn bokeh

to help you out, here are the stats on the series of photos i took:
focal length: 50 mm (ie. my 50 mm lens)
aperture or f-stop: 1.8 (remember, small means big!)
iso speed: 1600 (this is rather high because we were on our dining room table which has very bad lighting. the higher the iso number, the more sensitive your camera sensor is to light. the higher the iso number, the lower quality image you will get.)

acorn bokeh2

i'm personally one of those people who need to learn by doing. i could read this little how-to all day and still not "get" it. give me my camera and let me fool around with it a bit and i learn much better.

acorn bokeh

hopefully this helps answer the question of "how do you do that?". now that you know what it is, you'll find that a lot of my photos contain bokeh qualities. i'm a sucker for it.

go, play. let me know what you've learned! share your photos with me. i'd love to see them!

6 comments:

Fiona Cartolina said...

well, i had no idea thats how you do that!
i'm going to try that later, thanks!

Evy said...

Great tutorial. Beautiful images!

Clair said...

I love your images - all of the different colours are just singing.

Bokeh was THE reason I wanted to learn about photography and took a course - everything seems beautiful when it's blurry. Which is probably why so many people meet their partners whilst drunk! :)

daisy janie said...

thanks lori! i love taking pics of this-n-that with my camera, but i am seriously limited when it comes to all those other settings. not a clue!! love how these look in particular b/c of the shimmer.

My @ tha Hotness said...

This looks like fun. I looovvveee glitter.

Jill said...

Thanks for the refresher. I've forgotten all that from college! It's been too many moons ago. Great photos!

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