How to Create Bokeh

Thanks for all the great tips. It helps when you aren’t taking classes and learning on your own!

Photofocus (old site)

I’m often asked about bokeh (which has a myriad of pronunciations  — boʊkɛ / boh-kay / boh-kə).  The word originates from the Japanese word boke, which means “blur” or “haze.” It is essentially the aesthetic quality of the blur in an out of focus area of a photo.  This is generally done to create a pleasant framing for a subject where the background is thrown out of focus and the subject becomes more pronounced.

bokehporait

The goal is to create a background that is pleasing.  The goal is to push the scene far enough so that the distracting elements are removed.  Bokeh usually appears in the brighter areas of a scene that fall outside of the region that is in focus. However, bokeh can appear at all tonal values.

The easiest way to create bokeh is to use a fast lens.  That’s to say one that is capable of shooting at a wide Aperture.  The…

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