Broken Bokeh


Remember the final golden rule? Don’t worry about breaking the bokeh rules.

So the whole point of bokeh is usually to add emphasis to the subject of your photo by keeping it in crisp and clear focus while blurring everything else into mixed up soft tone watercolor dreams. Here is the thing though, all y’all suckers got to remember golden rule #10, don’t worry about any rules. Lately I’ve been really feeling the use of out of focus to focus on the subject. I saw a documentary recently where a photographer loved to go take pictures of crumbling midcentury modern building but in such an out of focus way that all the viewer can do is focus on the geometry of these buildings without worry of the years of wear and tear. Now I don’t photography midcentury moderns but I do like to experiment with this technique. I like to use the zone focus of my Olympus XA2 or Lomo LC-A for this but really you could use any kind of manual focus for this.

Ok, so here we go: set up your shot so that the focus you choose is set to an object that is not the main subject of the picture. For the examples in the gallery I have done it so that weird objects in the foreground are in focus, like the candle holders or the Diana mini on the coffee table, while the people in the photo are nicely blurred up. You could also do this so that the people are blurred in the foreground while the objects in the background are clear, I mean whatever.. just follow rule 10.

The effect of this is that it sort of confuses the eye and the mind. You are thinking that you should be looking at the people but what Diana Mini is so perfectly clear. What is the lomographer trying to tell me? What mysteries and riddles are being secretly being communicated? Rule number 10 forever! Also the nug thinks that putting light behind the focused object accentuates this feeling but I don’t really know if I agree, either way I added some of those in the gallery too so you can decide if that makes any sort of difference. Viva la 10 if you didn’t already know.

written by kylethefrench on 2011-01-24 #gear #tutorials #art #distance #bokeh #tipster #focus #top-tipster-techniques


  1. mellocakes
    mellocakes ·

    Cool. I love tipsters, they get me all fired up to go out and take more photos!

  2. adi_totp
    adi_totp ·


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