I know – the blog has not gotten much attention lately.  My apologies – but after the job loss, and pounding the pavement, my schedule has tightened up considerably, so the “planned posts” have pretty much been exhausted as I let myself get behind.  The good news is that with several opportunities on the horizon, I am a little less stressed about “real world” economics, and can dedicate some time back to the blog.  A few items of note:

#1 – The Year End Blowout Bash is underway – and LDP/Canon Blogger is giving away a ton of goodies.  I posted details about this last week, but in the interests of giving it a little more “face time”, I would encourage everyone to start thinking about their “giving” themed photos – could mean some seriously cool prizes coming your way to start the new year off right!  More details on the prize package and such here:

#2 – The 3rd edition of the LDP Newsletter is forthcoming – with some little known tidbits about the guests on most recent podcasts, including nuggets from David DuChemin and Andie Smith, as well as the monthly roundup, great quotes and christmas/holiday ideas for the photo buff in all of us.

#3 – With many things under way both professionally and personally for this time of year – the posting schedule that I had been adhering to for most of the year (hardware, software review, composition, podcast, etc.) is likely not going to be followed as strictly as things will be done more on a “catch as catch can” sort of thing.  If you like tuning in for one thing or another – keep on reading because the stuff you like will be there, just maybe not on the schedule you are accustomed to.

#4 – Last up, I’d like to point out that the donations tab is still active, and all are welcome to contribute via that conduit – but in the interests of getting some tangible things back to the reader and listeners that have been so encouraging, I am going to be coming out with some short eBooks (5-10 pages max) and there is a new link for the website to bookmark for that content:  http://www.canonblogger.com/store  While I am getting a fairly good idea of things readers and listeners would like to see/hear, feel free to send in questions, comments, suggestions and the like for store content as I am open to input.

So, with the vegetables out of the way, I’d like to delve into the “meat and ‘taters” segment of today’s post and that lies in the title:  bokeh

For those of you that may not be aware, bokeh refers to the blurred portions that are out of focus behind your subject matter.  The quality and nature of that out of focus portion can really enhance a photo, and can even become the subject matter itself when looked at creatively.  Now, I‘ve talked here on the blog about bokeh in the past, but in the spirit of the holidays, I thought it would be fun to share some samples of images where I actually forced the entire scene out of focus, to basically make the bokeh the subject:

The Beauty of Bokeh #1
The Beauty of Bokeh #1

The Beauty of Bokeh #2
The Beauty of Bokeh #2

The Beauty of Bokeh #3
The Beauty of Bokeh #3

The Beauty of Bokeh #4
The Beauty of Bokeh #4

The Beauty of Bokeh #5
The Beauty of Bokeh #5

As the samples show, you can make some pretty fun use of blur and bokeh.  Shapes lend themselves well, and varieties in colors, as well as monochromes too.  Another thing – when getting bokeh and blur – don’t worry too much about noise and crank the ISO if need be – it’s all about your creative mind.  You can remove noise if you must, but the idea is to capture something in a new way and getting bokeh this time of year specifically can be a lot of fun.  A few suggestions though:

  1. Look for shapes, as suggesting what the subject might really be can catch visual interest by teasing the eye – you know what it is by the shape…
  2. Look for light, because without much variation in light or bright spots, the bokeh will end up looking like just some smudges of a limited tonal range
  3. Use your best lens(es) as these produce softer bokeh – less angular edges, and more rounded or smooth textures, which is usually better for bokeh (“better for bokeh”, did I just say that?)
  4. Shoot wide open, then switch to manual focus and intentionally blur – push the lens further out of focus for variations on your bokeh elements.   Watch what happens and adjust to taste.

So, there’s a few ideas for you – there could be an eBook coming out on this later with more samples and suggestions so let me know if this whets your appetite.  Do you like the idea?  Want to see more?  Get more tips on shooting for the abstract?  Do the photos above help or hurt the idea?  Do you like them or think there are better samples?  Got any of your own?  Feel free to post links to your own libraries of bokeh and blur for everyone to enjoy – there might even be a newsletter mention in it for ya! 🙂

That’s gonna do it for today – coming up later this week, the aforementioned newsletter, another podcast, and much more, so keep on shooting, until then, may your batteries be charged and your memory cards filled with lots of photos this holiday season.  Now get out there and shoot ya some! 🙂

3 thoughts on “The Beauty of Bokeh Revisited

  1. Nice post Jason. I don’t think you can go wrong with bokeh.

    I’ve played around quite a bit with bokeh and abstract during my 365 project. I’ve enjoyed seeing how I can use them as part of regular shots to take mundane and it interesting. Some work, some don’t but that has been what has made my project fun.

    I think exploring abstract would be an interesting subject. I enjoy working with it but I’ve never figured out how people reacted to it. I could post a photo of my cat and get 20 comments and then post an abstract shot I really thought was interesting and heard crickets. I think there is a subset of people who may enjoy abstract photography but I just haven’t found those people yet. Or it could just be that my attempts suck.
    .-= Rob´s last blog ..Day 341 of 365 =-.

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