Monday, August 23, 2010

Trendy Photography: I'm Apparently Doing It Right

So a few photography blogs I've been reading have been talking about bokeh.

Bokeh is defined by Wikipedia as: In photography, bokeh is the blur, or the aesthetic quality of the blur, in out-of-focus areas of an image, or "the way the lens renders out-of-focus points of light."  Differences in lens aberrations and aperture shape cause some lens designs to blur the image in a way that is pleasing to the eye, while others produce blurring that is unpleasant or distracting— "good" or "bad" bokeh, respectively.

Basically, it's the idea that you use the blur to bring out the focal point of your pictures (with greater or lesser amounts of success).  Here are a few of my better bokeh pictures...

Floating Sunspot

What I absolutely love about this one is that the bokeh creates the effect that the flower is just floating in space.  There is a stem... but you can't see it! 
Turaco, Busy Building

 This is a White Crested Turaco from the free-flight section of Brookfield Zoo.

Little Bug Makes an Exit

In this one, not only is the background blurred, the edges of the petals on the left are too, drawing your eye to the center of the flower and the bug crawling out of it.

Grasshopper, Stick-Clinger
 This little grasshopper was ridiculously easy to lose in the grass, so without the background being obscured, it would be hard to see what I was trying to capture.  This is from a photography trip I took last fall with a friend.  We were heading back to the car from one of our stops when I saw this guy bounding around the grassy area between where we'd parked and the highway.  I made her wait fifteen minutes while I chased him around until he was still enough for me to get a good shot!

Mr. Fokker Poppy Faces the Sun
 This one is interesting because it's the blurry flowers in the background that give this photo some needed color to keep it from being too monochromatic.

12-Spotted Rester
 This one is more typical of what you see in the 'text-book' examples of bokeh, where the background bits become little circles of light.  Personally I wish I could get more of my shots to do this.  I often get just really harsh glare off the water.

Itty-Bitty Flower Committee
 This is a little curl of flowers that took me forever to capture properly.  Believe it or not, the whole cluster is about the size of a nickel.  When you're shooting with a macro lens, you can be pretty sure your background will be quite blurred.  This can be good when you're trying to isolate something like this, but less helpful in settings where you want to capture everything.
Shiny Red Wings

 This guy is from one of my recent Midewin posts.  The beetle is in sharp focus, as is the leaf he's on, but the rest of the plant, and the plants behind him are almost nonexistent.  Because of all the soft greens, his red shell really pops.
Halloween Pennant in August

Dragonflies like this are pretty well camouflaged, so if the background were to stay as busy as it really was, the dragonfly wouldn't be nearly as visible or clear.

No comments:

Post a Comment