Lens-Artists Challenge #194- Bokeh

Sofia’s Bokeh – an amazing theme. Go to her lovely site for more inspiration!

As Nature is my greatest source for photography, achieving a fine bokeh is always one of my aims. It makes the viewer rest in the image, rest in the harmony and magic of nature. Bokeh images also convey something of my own feelings in that very moment. I do agree with Sofia – it is the feeling that does it.

I will try to explain some of the ways and situations where I’m aiming for bokeh. Most of these photos were made with a tele lens, but for focusing on small details I use a macro lens. Aperture priority.

I love focusing on one object or more in the foreground. Concentrating on a spot with a special light.

In close-up or macros of flowers and their inhabitants – or guests – I want the background to be totally soft, almost non-existent.

In real macros, maybe there is only one detail in focus, which means almost the whole picture is blurred.

This image is a favourite, with one of my most loved tulips as the main subject. The use of strong colours and contrast adds to the special impression. The only thing I would like to change in this image is the placing of the tulip – it should have grown from the left hand side…but the image needed the leaves to come alive, so, I had to accept the way nature wanted it!

Another variety for bokeh is the harmony of colours in almost the same hue, paired/contrasted with interesting and different structures. What is your impression – is this image soft or rough?

According to Sofia, many people see this kind of background as the essence of Bokeh. Late evening light adds to a lovely, speckled bokeh, and I had to go back to this stellar magnolia from some years ago, because last year it froze after one day, and this year it did not even unfold – black buds only…

If you stick your camera right into the greenery – the image gets blurred in front and at the back, but it is also a favourite way to get nice surprices!

Yet another possibility to use bokeh is the way we can create mini landscapes and mini worlds. Is this a small world or is it the big one? What about the ”clouds”?

Finally – who doesn’t love droplets, large or small?

Thank you, Sofia, for inviting us this week to primarily think of out-of-focus areas on our photos. ”Are they an important component of your shot? What is bokeh for you and how do you achieve it?” We are looking forward to seeing your softly blurred areas and their story.

Thank you for sharing your wonderful celebrations with us last week. If you join us for this challenge, please link to Sofia’s post and tag Lens-Artists so we can easily find you. More information on the Lens-Artists Challenges here.

90 reaktioner på ”Lens-Artists Challenge #194- Bokeh

  1. Pingback: Lens-ArtistPC-196-Humour – WoollyMuses

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  3. Beautiful photos! I love them all, but I especially like the macro shot of the mushrooms; it looks like a little fairytale landscape. I definitely aspire to develop more bokeh photos like yours.

  4. A-C, such a beautiful selection of images!! I really like each one but especially the green leaves with small droplets and the beautiful purple flower with the sunlight on it!

  5. Pingback: Lens-ArtistPC-194-Bokeh – WoollyMuses

  6. AMAZING! I loved your words to lead into this grand collection ”It makes the viewer rest in the image…” So true. I especially loved the amount of color your backgrounds had. The pink in the first photo was everything to make that shot a success.

    The photo with harmony in the same hue was stunning. For me it brought a softness- especially with the assumption that is was late fall or winter. Loved them all. Donna

    • I am so glad you liked them, Donna! And I look at that harmony photo like you do – to me it is more soft than rough. I guess that is what happens in that season!

  7. I fully expected you to embrace this challenge and I am not disappointed. The kind of photos I mostly associate with you, though I know you do landscapes equally as well. All great examples A-C. Thank you.

    • Thank you, Jude, interesting to hear you associate those with me – I really don’t know if nobody tells me about it… I associate you with colourful flowers and beautiful garden photography!

  8. Beautiful photos. The mushroom macro is really pleasing. Apart from sticking your lens into the shrubbery I found that focus stacking is another way to get shots which give you a pleasant jolt of surprise.

  9. Ann-Christine, your post is absolutely beautiful. It has given me so much joy. Now more than ever, I need to be reminded of the beauty in this world! Thank you. It uplifts me. 😀😀❤️❤️

  10. Fabulous images, A C…love the header one, the little denizens of the forest floor (flower and mushrooms), and the droplets…..brilliant. Absolutely brilliant

  11. Beautiful and enjoyed learning more about Bokeh, too! That said, I’m a ‘point and shoot’ photographer – and yet, often, I arrive home and simply crop/zoom in on a particular focal point, and the various micro worlds appear to my wondering eyes – for which I am grateful – not being a professional or technical expert in ‘capturing just right, in the moment’ – I have little incentive to – as often? Point and shoot and just looking deeper into the photo brings forth the things I love, or my clients who can’t afford a professional! want to display on their websites – and well? I just get ‘lucky’ over and over – – LOL

  12. Pingback: Day 12 & Lens-Artists PC: Bokeh – An Embarrassment of Riches

  13. That image you asked for input… it feels more rough than soft, but the monochromatic nature of the image really softens it. In any case, it’s a beautiful composition.
    My favorite, though, is that opening photo. I am struck by that soft pastel background that highlights the whites of the subject. Beautiful.

    • Thank you, John! And thank you for the feedback. The opener was a surprise when I got it up on the screen – what colours in the background, a surprise really.

  14. What a wonderful collection of bokeh examples! Although I’m not surprised as I’ve noticed that you favour this technique/effect in a lot of your work 🙂 I can’t pick a favourite, they are all lovely, but I’m going to disagree with you about the tulip! I think it works really well at that angle and in that position in the shot. It’s not the ‘normal’ composition we might expect, perhaps, but that’s exactly why I think it works – it takes us out of our expected norms so we notice it all the more 🙂

  15. What stunning images, A-C. The harebell in the first photo is perfect – not only as an image, but it describes how harebells are, the way they pop up hither and thither amongst the vegetation. Always a pleasure to spot them.

  16. Amazing examples of bokeh Ann-Christine! I totally enjoyed when you put your lens into the greenery and the resulting image. The tulip was exceptional. They were all terrific.

  17. Of course they are wonderful Ann-Christine. I loved the little pink mushrooms and of course the droplet with its reflection of the greenery. But I did laugh out loud about ”stick you camera right into the greenery”. For some reason that really hit my funny bone. Can you imagine a photography teacher saying that? And yet it makes perfect sense!! Glorious images this week.

  18. Beautiful examples, I’m most smitten with the mushrooms. What a beautiful image. For me, background is really only background, as you can imagine, so I’ve been struggling a little with this theme. Your examples have opened my eyes a little. But still I don’t get it: Okay, you shot with aperture priority, I did too yesterday for the first time. But then you still need to set the aperture to a certain value, no? There is an entire scale of different apertures. Which one do you choose??

    • Thank you, Manja! And Yes! I will try to explain, but I have really only tested different ideas myself and found out about how I want it to look. I don’t know the English expressions for this either…hope you will see what I mean anyway!
      You can really use your ”normal” setting, the way you always do, but try to get as close to your object as you can, focus, and if the background is far away, it will work immediately . With A priority the large aperture is for making the background blurred – f/2.8 for example. With a small aperture you will get details in your whole picture – f/16 I usually use for landscapes to get more of the picture sharp. f/22 is perfect for getting a ”sunstar” when the sun is partly hidden behind a twig or something.
      Hope this makes sense! Good luck!

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