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Bokeh describes the visual quality of the out-of-focus areas of a photograph.

learn more… | top users | synonyms

93
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7answers
7k views

What is bokeh, exactly?

I understand that "bokeh" refers to out-of-focus areas of an image — but there is obviously more to it than that. What does the term mean exactly? How well is bokeh really understood? Is it purely ...
34
votes
15answers
7k views

How can I maximize the “blurry background, sharp subject” (bokeh) effect?

I know that this effect occurs when there's a shallow depth of field. My question is, what are the various ways I can increase this effect in my photos when I'm taking them? Note that I'm not ...
33
votes
12answers
7k views

How can I take shallow depth of field photos with a point-and-shoot camera?

I have a compact digital camera, and in macro mode I can manage to achieve a blurred background, if the background is far enough away. Can this be done when taking non-macro pictures, and if not, is ...
30
votes
1answer
4k views

What is “bokeh panorama” (also called the “Brenizer method”)?

Somewhere I don't remember, I heard about the Brenizer method. After reading a few sites, there is no consistent information about what it is exactly, or what the procedures are to apply it, so: ...
26
votes
4answers
2k views

How do you achieve sharp bokeh circles?

There's an effect I'm looking for and I was wondering if I could get it with just the camera or will I need to open up photoshop to achieve something like it. I'm trying to get shark bokeh circles ...
25
votes
1answer
1k views

Why can't I see bokeh in the viewfinder?

I took this shot a few months ago, and something has been bugging me ever since. I was a bit surprised when I saw the image and saw the conspicuous "bokeh orbs". The thing is, I hadn't noticed ...
18
votes
4answers
4k views

How does a teleconverter affect depth of field?

I'm aware that a teleconverter will reduce the amount of light reaching the film or sensor in a camera, and as such you hear people banding around things like "With a 2x teleconverter this 300mm f/2.8 ...
15
votes
7answers
4k views

How do you pronounce “bokeh”?

I've had a lot of trouble working out how to pronounce "bokeh". Amusingly enough, I've thus far been unable to get any of the small handful of photographer friends I have to ever say it out loud, ...
15
votes
5answers
3k views

Will a dSLR and compact camera produce the same bokeh output at f/2.0?

Will a Nikon D80 + 50mm f/1.8D and a Lumix LX5 set both at an aperture of f/2.0 (50mm @ f/2.0 for D80 and 24mm @ f/2.0 for LX5) have the same bokeh ouput? I plan to get the LX5 as a second camera, and ...
15
votes
1answer
629 views

Clipped bokeh circles at max aperture with wide aperture, short focal length lenses

I recently purchased a Sigma 30mm f/1.4 lens for my Canon 450D and noticed soon that at least wide open, any bokeh circles in the lower half of an image (in landscape orientation) seem to have their ...
15
votes
6answers
5k views

How does background blur (bokeh) relate to sensor size?

This is a somewhat theoretical question. Suppose I first take a photo of a subject using a full frame sensor DSLR, with a given lens (say 50mm prime lens at f/3.5). Now suppose I exchange the camera ...
13
votes
1answer
2k views

What's the difference between Bokeh and Gaussian Blur?

I have heard multiple times in photography, the words Bokeh, and Gaussian Blur. To me, it seems that the words are used almost interchangeably, but in some instances, I have heard them contrasted. ...
13
votes
2answers
649 views

How do I get shaped bokeh without a Lensbaby?

Is there a good hardware solution for generating shaped bokeh? I know Lensbaby has a set of filters that give various shapes — is there a similar solution for other lens?
13
votes
6answers
6k views

How do I find a point-and-shoot camera specifically for bokeh / a very shallow depth of field?

I will be getting a point-and-shoot camera for taking portraits and only portraits. Specifically portraits with a shallow depth of field. Groups portraits sometimes. It's just too much work to add ...
11
votes
4answers
2k views

How can I use wide aperture with fill flash?

I was working with an off-camera flash this weekend for some portraits of my son. I was shooting in medium sunlight (early morning, partly cloudy, w/ some shade), and I like the lighting control I ...
9
votes
5answers
615 views

Is the bokeh in this picture naturally occurring, or added in post-processing?

Click here for picture I feel like the blur is not natural. Looks like it was Gaussian Blurred with the couple as the center. What do you guys think?
9
votes
3answers
2k views

Optimal DSLR settings for an Indoor car show?

I am quite sure a bunch of folks from this forum are going to be shooting in the 2013 Detroit Auto Show, so here goes! I understand that optimal settings vary depending on the circumstancial lighting ...
9
votes
3answers
859 views

Bokeh of the human eye - How does it look like & vary across apertures and individuals?

Precisely what does the bokeh of a human eye look like? How does it vary over different apertures and different individuals? As a near-sighted person, it is fairly easy for me to get some idea of ...
9
votes
0answers
585 views

Why do some DSLRs take good bokeh and others do not?

what is the mechanical explanations as to why some cameras can take good bokeh and not others. do lenses have a role too?
8
votes
5answers
2k views

How to avoid a halo around the edges?

I am just post-processing some pictures I took last spring. On lots of them, I notice a halo around the edges of objects which are slightly outside the focused depth. I shot without a tripod, with ...
8
votes
1answer
535 views

How is Bokeh created?

I am not asking how to create a bokeh effect. I found the answer to that quesiton here: Best way to get shaped bokeh? The answers on that question say you basically cut out an image from a piece of ...
8
votes
1answer
381 views

Why does my Zeiss Hasselblad Distagon lens have a 5 blade diaphragm?

As we are all aware, the more blades there are in a lens’s diaphragm, the rounder the resulting hole can be made, and in turn this gives a more natural looking bokeh. So on receiving my recent ...
8
votes
3answers
2k views

Does a 35mm prime lens show the same bokeh as a 50mm prime lens on a cropped sensor?

I came to know that a 50mm prime lens on a cropped sensor behaves like an 75mm prime lens. So, does the 35mm prime lens behave like a 50mm prime lens on a cropped sensor? If yes, then will it show ...
7
votes
3answers
1k views

What are the techniques for taking portraits using a tilt shift lens?

Like many others, I have been a great fan of Ryan Brenizer since a long time. Though I have never tried the Brenizer method of panaromic portraits in my professional photography assignments, I still ...
7
votes
2answers
656 views

What is the cause of this non-uniform bokeh effect?

A friend of mine is thinking of buying a used medium-format film TLR camera (a Mamiya C330), and he showed me some of the test shots he'd taken with it. I was struck by the curiously non-uniform ...
7
votes
2answers
293 views

At what point does “out of focus” become Bokeh?

As with the distinction between a big boat and a small ship, at what point can an out of focus background be considered "Bokeh"? Is it the point where the subject in the background (or foreground ...
7
votes
2answers
1k views

Can I achieve synthetic bokeh?

In order to have a good separation of the subject from the background you usually use fast lens with high aperture and so on. Can this, however, be achieved purely digitally?
7
votes
4answers
177 views

What causes the glitter/texture in bokeh?

I have been looking for a technical explanation for the glitter/texture sometimes appearing in bokeh, usually when you have light coming through a object that scatters light like glass. I am of cause ...
6
votes
6answers
5k views

is it possible to get “bokeh balls” using a cellphone camera?

Is it possible to get "bokeh balls" using an cellphone camera? I'm using an iPhone but the question could apply to any cameraphone. bI'm sure there are a lot of apps which allow you to insert fake ...
6
votes
4answers
710 views

Is depth of field and bokeh influenced by distance to the subject?

I know that the aperture size has a direct effect on the depth of field. However, what about distance to the subject? Let's say I took two pictures, one at 24mm and one at 70mm, using the same lens ...
6
votes
5answers
1k views

What about lens construction influences bokeh?

I can understand how certain elements of a lens can correct an aberrations or make it sharper - but specifically, how do lens manufacturers influence the bokeh - the quality of the blur? There's a ...
6
votes
3answers
931 views

What is considered high quality bokeh?

What is considered high quality bokeh and what is considered low quality bokeh?
6
votes
1answer
2k views

Which Lensbaby Sweet 35 or Edge 80 effects are harder to reproduce post-processing?

I want some suggestions from Lensbaby users. I have the plastic optic, double glass and fisheye optic. I use the composer. The recent new optics: Sweet 35 and Edge 80 seem very intriguing and I ...
6
votes
2answers
2k views

What size hole do I use to make differently shaped bokeh?

This is my question in one huge breath: What would be the correct size of an elliptic bokeh filter be to create a fake anamorphic distorted bokeh effect with a regular Canon 50mm f/1.8 II lens with a ...
6
votes
2answers
555 views

How does an apodization filter improve bokeh?

The new Fujifilm Fujinon XF56mmF1.2 R APD has an "apodization" filter, which Fujifilm says "smoothes the outline of the subject to create a more natural bokeh effect". The Wikipedia article on ...
5
votes
2answers
359 views

How is the term Gaussian blur used?

Is the term Gaussian blur used strictly in post-production, or can it also be used as a term for an out-of-focus area in your image when you-re taking the picture? I'm pretty sure that bokeh is used ...
5
votes
3answers
1k views

How does using a lens with some focal length on a full frame camera differ from using a lens with “equivalent” focal lens on a crop camera?

As an example, a 35mm lens on a crop body (such as Nikon DX) is said to be "equivalent" to a 50mm lens on a full frame body. Equivalent here means that they will have the same field of view, but what ...
5
votes
4answers
2k views

What Micro-Four Thirds prime lenses produce pleasing bokeh?

What prime lenses can you recommend for producing pleasing bokeh on the Micro Four Thirds cameras like the Panasonic GH2/3? I'm interested in both Panasonic and non-Panasonic lenses (including using ...
5
votes
2answers
789 views

How do I avoid vignetting when shooting through a cut-out for shaped bokeh?

I used a 18mm-50mm lens at f/3.5, with a card with a cut-out heart shape of about 4mm. I got the shaped bokeh effect, but the outer side of image is dark due to the card. How do I avoid this and ...
5
votes
1answer
444 views

Has anyone used Alien Skin Bokeh?

I was wondering if anyone has had experience with using the Alien Skin Bokeh application. Is it worthwhile, or it gimmicky? Thanks!
4
votes
2answers
701 views

What is the reason of “banded” bokeh on Sony a7?

Watching the photos made using Sony a7 cameras with fast lenses, I've noticed one interesting thing about the bokeh. It seems to be that its shape is more geometric, more "banded" in comparison to ...
4
votes
1answer
2k views

How do you create a washed out effect with deep blacks?

I have been wondering how to achieve a great portrait effect I have been seeing a little bit more lately. The portraits are usually washed out, but blacks are still deep (not dull), and there seems ...
3
votes
5answers
659 views

Can a photo with nothing in focus be considered to have bokeh?

This photo was accidentally captured by me. Can it be considered to have bokeh? I am confused, because it does not have any foreground in focus.
3
votes
2answers
482 views

Why didn't I get bokeh with my 50mm f1.8?

Recently I took a photograph at an aperture of f/1.8, but there was very little bokeh. The shot was of a wave with a few boats in the background. Everything seems to be clear even at f/1.8. Can ...
3
votes
2answers
297 views

Why is the bokeh shaped like the aperture?

Why is the bokeh shaped like the aperture? What is the physical explanation to this?
2
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5answers
632 views

What technical factors make bokeh particularly trendy in recent years?

I have read on more then one occasion that bokeh or shallow depth of field is trendy currently. I am specifically interested in reasoning why this may be the case. I understand that bokeh is trendy ...
2
votes
1answer
637 views

Is it possible to get bokeh in cellphone photos?

I have wondered how to get some parts of the image out of focus when using smartphone cameras (or if it can even be done). Recently found out about the concept of bokeh, and am interested in ...
2
votes
2answers
127 views

Synthetic bokeh: linearly intensify bokeh/blur from e.g. detected contrast or bokeh circle sizes

This question may be somewhat uninformed, as I am certainly no expert on the notions involved, so please bear with me :) In the context of manipulating synthetic bokeh in post-processing, settling ...
2
votes
4answers
759 views

Is 24mm F/1.8 Prime lens blur bokeh is good (not distorted face) for portraits

I want to buy and do a photos+video interview with Sigma F/1.8 24mm Fixed Prime. I did profile photos/interviews with my Sigma 85mm F/1.4 on My Sony A77 APS-C camera. I used to use F/1.7-F/2 as a ...
2
votes
2answers
77 views

I have a Fujifilm HS25 EXR and its minimun aperture is F2.8. Is there a way of getting a lower aperture for my camera?

I have a Fujifilm HS25 EXR and its minimum aperture is F2.8, but I want it to be F1.8 (my dream is to achieve the bokeh effect) Is there a way of getting a lower aperture for my camera; maybe a lens ...