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.
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…
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.
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You are truly a master of selective bur – all of these are lovely and provoke time spent in contemplation of the earth’s beauty..
Thank you for a wonderful comment! So glad you caught the feeling!
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.
I see you love the peacefulness just like I do. And you already do bokeh! Thank you!
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!
Thank you so much, Sylvia!
Yes, your tulip pictures turned out great, Ann-Christine! Lovely.
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Beautiful choices! That anchor chain is amazing!
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!
WOW. GREAT selections A-C. Superb.
Thank you, John!
Fantastic examples, A-C 👏 The water droplet shot is stunning but also loving the magnolia & tulip 😃
Thank you so much, Jez, happy you enjoyed them!
All gorgeous, especially the mushrooms.
Thank you – the mushrooms are the winners this week it seems!
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!
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.
Ah, thank you – and I have yet to try that!
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. 😀😀❤️❤️
Then I am glad – if it feels uplifting, Patti! I need that too, so – happy I succeeded in my small way!
Fabulous images, A C…love the header one, the little denizens of the forest floor (flower and mushrooms), and the droplets…..brilliant. Absolutely brilliant
Absolutely Thank You! I had great fun with this theme, as it suited my photography well.
The theme was made for you!
I am sure!
Wow – so pretty!!
Thank you, Nora!
Oh so beautiful Ann-Christine
Thank you, Karina!
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
♥ Most of us are point and shoot, I think! And that is a good thing!
Point and shoot works perfectly well! Glad you enjoyed the theme!
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Way too many gorgeous bokeh photos to choose a favorite. These are marvelous Ann-Christine. 😀
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.
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 🙂
Thank you so much, Sarah – and what a happy analysis of the tulip shot! Thank you!
You’re a very talented photographer. I just take random shots, but that’s just me.
I also take random shots, and sometimes I am serious too! So, it’s not just you! Thank you for your kind words!
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.
Thank you, Tish – a flower to love. My son loved them so when he was a child – in fact so much I had to paint them on his clogs!
Harebell clogs – what fun!
What can I say, I am so impressed by these shots…!!! such clarity and I love that water drop…amazing! and yes I agree, you can´t go wrong with Nature photography.
Your photos are just amazing Ann-Christine!
Thank you so much – so happy you enjoyed them!
Poetry with images. I could just let them inspire me all day. Thank you, Ann-Christine, you just made my day!
Ah, I did? Then I am happy too!
A marvellous evocation of the natural world – as we expect from you of course!
Thank you so much for your kind words, Margaret!
They are all my favorites Leya 🙂
Such a shame about the magnolia! That is a lovely image, Ann-Christine 🤗💟
Thank you, Jo – yes, I am always looking forward to the magnolia…
Glorious camellias here in Braga, and wisteria 🤗💗
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.
Thank you, Anne! Into the greenery is something we say in Sweden, but it seems people understand the fun of it!
These are all so beautiful! I can’t pick a favorite!!
You can have them all, Lisa! Thank you!
Nice shots, is that Beetle Bailey on top of the Coneflower?
I had to look up this…and it was a cartoon! Well, why not! Thank you!
These are all magnificent, A-C. You’re such a talented photographer.
Thank you kindly – but this challenge was all about what I love most…and I know you love it too!
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.
Thank you, Tina – as you know I had great fun with this challenge – and I am pleased I hit your funny bone!
Fabulous macros and just love the beetle and fungi.:) 🙂
♥ Thanks, Brian! I thought those two would suit your taste!
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!
Thank you! I took some test photos two days ago and will post some today, and keep testing. You make it look so easy! 😉 Gorgeous!