Bokeh Blur

12

The first time I head the word "bokeh", I thought it was a Japanese camera. So I decided that I'd look it up, turns out I was really wrong. And I also have a bunch of photos that have this particular effect!

The term “bokeh” comes from the Japanese word “boke”, which means “blur” or “haze”. This word describes the way that the lens of a camera renders the light when it is out-of-focus. It usually comes out as circular shapes in the back ground of your picture.

When your setting isn’t focused to the points of light in your shot, it produces blurred circles that give depth to your photo. During the day, you usually won’t get very many of these circular lights because they are not bright enough against daylight to show up well.

On the other hand, dark places work very well if you want the bokeh effect.

And then there are the occasional situations when you have things like leaves and trees that filter spots of light into the background of your picture. I find these to be the best ones. I’ve gotten some great shots when I shoot with nature.

So if you’d like the closest thing to 3D in your film, bokeh may be your best shot!

written by natalieerachel on 2011-03-08 in #gear #tipster #blur-outoffocus-lights-lens-abberation #tipster #camera

12 Comments

  1. samchau
    samchau ·

    genuinely loving this effect!

  2. nigelk
    nigelk ·

    Nice analysis of bokeh!

  3. gelibee
    gelibee ·

    I love Bokeh! Make sure that you have a shallow depth of field to achieve that bokehlicious goodness! :D

  4. disasterarea
    disasterarea ·

    The best way to get lots of bokeh is to follow Golden Rule #5….get as close as possible!

    The closer you are to whatever you want to shoot, and the further in the distance the lights or whatever it is that you want to give your Bokeh effect, the bigger it will be.

    Bokeh is easy to achieve using a Lomo LC-A, because it has large aperture lens of F2.8 and a short focusing distance of 80cm, which means that if the light isn't too bright to camera can leave the aperture wide-open to give you that wonderful smooth and silky effect in the distance of anything in the distance.

    To ensure you get as much bokeh as possible always use the slowest film you can, (taking into account the lighting conditions), which means always using ISO 100 on bright sunny days. However when indoors and at night, you can still get great bokeh when using ISO 800. The biggest danger is using a film that is too slow, which will end up giving you camera shake.

  5. willyboy
    willyboy ·

    I had a Japanese "boke" once. Ever so small he was.

  6. laurasulilly
    laurasulilly ·

    Actually, if you wanna be in total control of your bokeh and don't wanna just "hope" it's gonna work, it's best to use a DSL and use the largest aperture possible, something between 1.4 to 2.8 (interestingly, aperture isn't mentioned in the article, but it's the most important device to get the bokeh-effect). In case of Lomo cams, the LC-A and Smena cams and any other camera which enables you to set apertures works fine. In terms of composition, I like it best to have the most important part of the motive focussed (the positive space) and the negative space "blurred" because that's what makes a picture really interesting and sort of guides your attention to the part of the image you'd like to be in the centre of attention!

  7. nicolas_noir
    nicolas_noir ·

    @disasterarea is spot on their analyis and I hoped to write something of the same effect for a tipster and never got round to it! And @laurasulilly yes, to an extent prime lenses will give the best results, but equally macro lenses and telephoto lenses will also produce good bokeh, due to the limited depth of field. Equally the larger format film you are using, generally the smaller the depth of field for equivalent lenses and aperture.

  8. xutuluh
    xutuluh ·

    @laurasulilly
    its called "dslr" for "digital single lense reflex" - and to keep it cool and analog just say "slr" :)

  9. laurasulilly
    laurasulilly ·

    @nicolas_noir and xutuluh: thanks for the extra info/correction...i did mean (analogue) slr but i didn't remember the correct term in English :)

  10. disasterarea
    disasterarea ·

    The Lomo LC-A is a great camera for bokeh effects, if you can tempt its automatic aperture settings to do what you want.

    In low light, in addition to slowing down the shutter speed to let more light hit the film, the camera opens up the aperture on the lens to it's biggest value of F2.8 (yes, smaller number means bigger aperture), which is best described as increasing the hole that the light can come through. By increasing this hole it has a "side effect" of reducing the depth-of-field making anything outside your focusing area blurry....and the greater the distance between what your focusing on and the background, the more bokeh you will get.

    Meanwhile on a bright day, to limit the light hitting the film and stop your pictures from being over exposed, in addition to increasing the shutter speed (which also prevents motion blur), it closes the aperture to as small as F16. When the aperture gets smaller, it increases the depth of field making more things in your picture between the front and back of the picture in focus.

    Have Fun!

  11. iamhirsch
    iamhirsch ·

    Oh, how I absolutely adore the first picture!

  12. natalieerachel
    natalieerachel ·

    Wow thanks for all the feedback everyone! :)
    @iamhirsch It's in my swimming album if you wanted to check it out!
    www.lomography.com/homes/natalieerachel/albums/1660383-swym…

More Interesting Articles

  • Spinner 360: Pull the Cord and Let the Magic Happen!

    written by adi_totp on 2014-09-09 in #reviews
    Spinner 360: Pull the Cord and Let the Magic Happen!

    The story between the Spinner 360 and I goes way back to the year 2010, when Lomography decided to send me a beta model of the Spinner 360 to test. It was a complete surprise! I thought, "What the hell is that?" as I first took this camera out of the package. Then, when my little brother grabbed it from me and pulled the cord, it buzzed and turned 360°! We all had the same expression: "Whoa..."

    4
  • Fresh from the Lab: 1990

    written by adi_totp on 2014-08-08 in #lifestyle
    Fresh from the Lab: 1990

    A weekend without a lomowalk seems bad, at least for me. One Saturday morning, I decided to join my friends in their lomowalk. It was all cloudy at first but it didn't stop me from going out and walking. I brought my new Nikon FM2 and some expired rolls, just to test my camera. Was it just me being sleepy, or was my Nikon FM2 acting up? My photos turned out grainy, pale, and, in my opinion, looking so 1990s?

    1
  • The Lomo’Instant Splitzer: the Must-Have Slice and Dice Accessory!

    written by bgaluppo on 2015-03-06 in #gear #lifestyle
    The Lomo’Instant Splitzer: the Must-Have Slice and Dice Accessory!

    What exactly do I feel while waiting for my Lomo'Instant photos to be developed? I have to say I get a mix of "Surprise me, dear Lomo!" but also some "Did I capture it as I wanted?" kind of thought. No matter the school of thought, with the Splitzer you can add so many cool effects to your photos you'll definitely embrace it!

  • Shop News

    Fuji Instax Wide 300

    Fuji Instax Wide 300

    Shoot wider and bigger with this new instax camera that has film format twice the size of the instax mini films!

  • Petzval Lens and Adaptor with Olympus OM-D E-M5 Micro 4/3 Camera

    written by blackfairy on 2015-05-15 in #gear #reviews
    Petzval Lens and Adaptor with Olympus OM-D E-M5 Micro 4/3 Camera

    Using my Canon EOS 20D, I already discovered the amazing bokeh effect of the Petzval Lens. So I was really excited to try it with my favorite digital hybrid camera, Olympus OM-D E-M5. Just attach an adaptor and off you go!

    2
  • Creativity means Connecting Things - A Splitzer for the LC-A 120

    written by jennifer_pos on 2015-03-07 in #gear #lifestyle #tipster
    Creativity means Connecting Things - A Splitzer for the LC-A 120

    I don’t like to split. A split means distance, separation, it means categorical divergence. We split hairs, we split incomes, we split up. So the first thing we have to know here is that a Splitzer – different from what you might have thought - is not at all a nasty boy splitting things up.

    4
  • The Magic Yet To Come: Part 3

    written by Lomography on 2014-09-04 in #news
    The Magic Yet To Come: Part 3

    “Let me tell you about my life turning blue”. Those were the first words the guy on the bench said as he sat down beside me whilst I was eating my lunch. Usually, I prefer to eat alone but there was something about this opening sentence which really intrigued me; so I told him “Sure buddy, go ahead. Tell me about your life in blue”.

    23
  • Shop News

    Immortalize your best shot on Aluminium!

    Immortalize your best shot on Aluminium!

    Carefully enlarged from your negatives onto premium photographic paper by lab professionals, each picture is a unique piece of craftsmanship.

  • Fresh from the Lab: Silvia Precisa

    written by adi_totp on 2014-08-20 in #lifestyle
    Fresh from the Lab: Silvia Precisa

    Recently, I used my trusty Fuji Silvi. It may not be my all-time favorite camera, but I just wanted to use it because I kind of missed shooting with it. So I decided to look through my film stash to see what I could use with the Fuji Silvi. After much consideration, I ended up picking the old Agfa CT Precisa ISO 100 to get that classic blue tone. Silvia Precisa!

    2
  • 12 Months, 12 Projects: March Of Caffenol

    written by Maaike van Stratum on 2015-04-12 in #world #lifestyle
    12 Months, 12 Projects: March Of Caffenol

    My list of resolutions for 2015 consists of 12 projects, one for every month. March was for caffenol. You have probably heard of the amazing fact that you can develop black and white photos with coffee, sodium, and vitamin C. I had tried this before but with less than stellar results. Somehow, there's always something going wrong. Time to devote a few rolls to caffenol to finally get the hang of it.

    1
  • Chasing Summer Smiles with the Horizon Perfekt

    written by cheeo on 2014-06-20 in #reviews
    Chasing Summer Smiles with the Horizon Perfekt

    Chronicling my summer’s last hurrah with the Horizon Perfekt was more than what I could have imagined. Not only did I get cool remarks about its look and sweeping lens mechanism, I also took home panoramic shots that just swept my summer escapades with analogue goodness.

  • Shop News

    Diana Mini and Flash Petite Noire at 25% off

    Diana Mini and Flash Petite Noire at 25% off

    At 25% off you can take dreamy 35mm images with this little black beauty. Beam coloured light into your shots with its accompanying Diana Flash Back accessory and be the analogue king of the night.

  • Lomography's Little Lessons: Depth of Field

    written by jennifer_pos on 2015-04-10 in #gear #lifestyle #tipster
    Lomography's Little Lessons: Depth of Field

    Have you ever wondered why those nerdy camera constructors formulate complicated terms that baffle most normal citizens? Trust me, I know it all too well; Physics was the first subject to go when I had to choose between studying and spending yet another night pursuing youthful adventures. But don't worry — the remedy for all of the gaps in your knowledge is right here: Lomography’s Little Lessons on Photography. Follow this series and in no time you'll catch up on everything your curious mind desires!

    2
  • Lomography's Little Lessons: Aperture

    written by jennifer_pos on 2015-03-14 in #gear #lifestyle #tipster
    Lomography's Little Lessons: Aperture

    Have you ever wondered why those nerdy camera constructors formulate complicated terms that baffle most normal citizens? Trust me, I know it all too well; Physics was the first subject to go when I had to choose between studying and spending yet another night pursuing youthful adventures. But don't worry — the remedy for all of the gaps in your knowledge is right here: Lomography’s Little Lessons on Photography. Follow this series and in no time you'll catch up on everything your curious mind desires!

  • A Beach Holiday in St. Gilles Croix de Vie, 1981

    written by wesco on 2014-08-30 in #lifestyle
    A Beach Holiday in St. Gilles Croix de Vie, 1981

    While I was browsing through my first photo album, I came across a series of photos taken in 1981 during a beach holiday at the French coastal village of St. Gilles Croix de Vie in Vendee. I took these photographs with my first camera that I received for my 11th birthday. Have a look!