Bokeh is something that you’ll hear a lot of photographers talking about. Photographs with good bokeh have an appealing aesthetic; a quality that is as much because of the photographer as it is because of the lens the photographer used. When you isolate the subject and create a small depth of field the background becomes blurred and and the subject stands out. Shallow focus is a good way to achieve this, just set your aperture to wide open. If the subject has a stark color contrast to the background the effect can be even more dramatic as is the case in this lovely photo by Ian Livingston. Not only does the white tulip stand out against the red ones but the blurring of the background tulips makes it even more of a focal point. The photo looks like a pastel painting and would certainly look great framed and hanging on a wall. Well done, Ian.
A simple photo caught my eye for today’s Featured Photo. Phil was able to get this tight shot of a star on one of the smaller Christmas trees with the National Christmas Tree in the background. Two things drew me to this photo: one, the lovely color of the lights, and, two, the bokeh of those lights. For those who don’t know what bokeh is, it’s that fine blur in the background of photographs. One of the pluses of bokeh is that it helps the viewer focus in on the main subject matter of a photograph; this is because our brains naturally want to pay attention to what’s in the focus. This effect certainly compliments Christmas lights because it gives them a dreamy, yet colorful, look; a look and feel I love to associate with the Holidays.
Bokeh. I swear it’s an actual word…though, granted, it is Japanese. It describes the aesthetic effect of having a blurred background or depth of field in a photograph. It’s a hard effect to get, mainly because you have to have a really good (read: expensive) lens to get it. But when you can get the effect, it can look great. And the ways of using are almost infinite. It helps that all the Christmas lights give it a way to shine…so to speak.
Dwood Photography uses the bokeh to great effect in his shot. Not only does he keep the shape of the National Christmas Tree, but he also has the Washington Monument in shot, giving it that DC flair. It helps that the lights on the tree have a nice circular look, giving the shot a unique look. Definitely a shot that can get one into the Season!
how does your garden grow? by Pappa91
With all of the dreary rain we’ve been having lately, it’s easy to become a little mopey. If you’re feeling more than a little mopey, say very depressed, take my advice and never move to Seattle. Instead just stare at this beautifully lit photo by Flickrite Pappa91 which is just oozing and dripping cheery colors from across the spectrum, all the way from the crisp orange and yellow petals in the foreground to the buttery blue bokeh in the background. Mmmmm…buttery blue bokeeeeh.
It’s easy to spend a lot of your time focusing (no pun intended!) on the subject of your nature photos, but don’t lose sight (again, no pun!) of the background. One way to make things really ‘pop’ is to pay attention to what’s in the bokeh. For example when I took this shot, I framed the apple so that a patch of black-eyed susans were in the background because yellow and green compliment each other quite nicely.
So remember, rain may be bad for your mood but it’s good for trees and flowers, don’t move to Seattle if you’re already depressed, and don’t be afraid to experiment with the areas of your photo that will inevitably become a beautiful blur.