A photograph is made of an infinite amount of points of light. Where the points are small and packed tightly together the image is sharp. Where the points are large and loosely packed the image is not sharp.

When purchasing a lens we always think about the sharpness of the image it will produce. What is equally important is how the lens renders the out of focus areas in the photo. The Quality of the out of focus is referred to as Bokeh. (Pronounced bo-keh ). This is Japanese for “senile” or “touched in the head” or “fuzzy”.



Photo 1. I focused on a nearby object and then aimed the camera at the Christmas tree. The lights on the tree are so out of focus they are blurred. In this case the circles are perfectly round so this lens has good bokeh. It is a superior lens. Had the circles been egg shaped or octagon or pentagon in shape you would have bad bokeh or an inferior lens. This photo was taken with a $99 lens. Technology has made quality cheap.




Photo2 and 3. You can change the size of the circles or Bokeh by the distance, lens, and lens opening (f/stop).



Photo 4. So what can you do with this knowledge? You can do some really creative and abstract photos. Here is a photo of the out of focus Christmas tree.



Photo5. Put your shutter at about a 30th of a second and Zoom out as you snap the photo.



Photo 6. I put Christmas lights on a wall about 8 feet away from the bottle and focused on the bottle.




Photo7 and 8. I look for points of light in my portraits to make an interesting backdrop.



Photo 9. At night is where you’ll have the greatest opportunity.


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