[photography] Bokeh

I was looking through the Photo a day 2012 Flickr Group and saw Day 27- Somewhere you went by Stacey Quinn, which then let me onto her photostream where she has several interesting bokeh images. What is this? How do I do it?

And hence the investigation that led to this post ;)

The creative use of background blur (and Bokeh) can often be a very useful compositional element. The term comes from the Japanese word boke (暈け or ボケ), which means “blur” or “haze”, or boke-aji (ボケ味), the “blur quality”.

Larger aperture works best, so use a low f-stop number like f1.4, f1.8 or f2.8.
Time to pick up a Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II, lucky for me that JB HiFi Ted’s Cameras has them on special this week :)

Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II

By using a filter we can ‘shape’ the image’s circle of confusion. I have based the filters on the cardboard sleeve design used in the DIY – Create Your Own Bokeh tutorial [1]. The first trial was a ‘flower’ using a metal punch, this worked quite well with the sharp edges producing a clear image.

Paper filter
.
Flowers at night

For the second trial the shape was a hand cut person, this has less sharp edges and produces a more blurred bokeh.

paper filter II
.
more than two's a crowd

Using the filter with a multiple light source through the leaves of a tree gives an unusual effect;

Little men in the trees

From the World of EOS:

Next step: Sharp foreground images with artistic bokeh backgrounds.

LINKS:
[1] DIY – Create Your Own Bokeh (2007-Apr-25) [DIYPhotography.net]
[2] How To: 7 Quick Tips To Create Bokeh With Digital Camera (2010-Apr-15) [Photoble]
[3] Bokeh [wikipedia]
[4] About Bokeh [bokehtests.com]
[5] Bokeh Test [www.rickdenney.com]
[6] Bokeh and Background Blur [bobatkins.com]

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