I bet that sounds strange to you The Bokeh and the Blur. You may not know what bokeh is but I already know chances are you love it. Inevitably when I am showing a client photos I hear the same thing, ooooh I love that part, pointing to the background. Sometimes they look at a photo, love it but they don’t know why but I do, the secret is in the blur or bokeh.
Bokeh from the Japanese word boke meaning blur or haze is the area in the photograph that is not in focus but enough definition you can make out shapes or silhouettes. There are many different ways to create bokeh and some people categorize bokeh by the type of blur, how much or the effect the bokeh has brought to the image. I use bokeh often to help focus on the subject. You can tell stories with people as your bokeh.
Make still life pop!
Bokeh helps give you depth of field.
Sometimes the bokeh is in the foreground.
Bokeh can help frame the focal point or at a touch of color.
Advanced Users: If you are shooting with a camera lens that allows you to adjust the aperture, open the lens up, meaning set the dial to the lowest number possible to achieve the highest amount of bokeh. Remember when you are using your lens at the widest point (that”s correct the smaller the aperture the larger the opening) you decrease the focal length and you lose a bit of sharpness. The “sweet spot” on a lens is usually a few stops up from it’s lowest (or widest aperture). For example on my macro 50mm 2.5 I usually don’t go lower than 3.0 to maximize sharpness.
There are lenses that create extreme bokeh like the lensbaby composer. This is a great way to capture the feeling of movement.
Come share your bokeh photos with us in our Group Pool Modclicks on Flickr we would love to see them and possibly feature it here on Modclicks. For more inspiration there are many bokeh groups on flickr, one of my personal favorites is bokeh people.