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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre General Photography Talk 
Thread started 06 May 2011 (Friday) 09:27
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Am I the only one that does not like Bokeh?

 
WRAG
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May 06, 2011 09:27 |  #1

I have just started to try and take more advanced photos and been researching and learning a lot over the past few weeks. I have learned that photos with a blurred background, more DOF are considered better than photos where the entire scene is focused, at least for sports and portraits. Not so much for landscapes.

Am I the only one that does not think a blurred background is pleasing, in any setting? In my sports photos, I like to see the faces of the other people in the crowd, the other kids on the field etc. I think it adds to the excitment of the game. I do not like to have the main subject in focus and everything behind him blurry so you cannot even tell what is in the background. Maybe I will come around to appreciate the better quality of blurred background as I know the majority think it is better, but I just don't get it.

Anyone else had this thought when they first got into photos and then learned to appreciate the blurred backgrounds?




  
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Playonpics.com
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May 06, 2011 09:29 |  #2

then get a Point and Shoot or buy a lens and use F22


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cfvisuals
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May 06, 2011 09:31 |  #3

Blurred background is just a simulation of how our brain see things, so that's why we like it. When we look at things with our eyes, we only focus on one subject at a time, every else is "blurred" out (we ignored them in our head until there's a motion and we shift our attention to that object in motion.)

You can definitely try to get everything in focus. Art has all the freedom you want, you can do whatever you want, whatever you appreciate.


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May 06, 2011 09:33 as a reply to  @ Playonpics.com's post |  #4

I can give you an example of Bokeh.
Unfortunately, he uses Alien Skin Bokeh 2 software to recreate the effect.
But as you can see the diff. from the two. I personally like the Bokeh effect (imo)
http://rod.inception-imaging.com …wc6/0/XL/i-4T3wwc6-XL.jpg (external link)


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picturecrazy
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May 06, 2011 09:42 |  #5

Some amount of blur isn't a bad thing.

But people seem to love to overdo it imo. It's like people go nuts once they get a 1.4 or 1.2 lens and are on a mission to blur the living snot out of everything, where the amount of blur is almost more important than the subject itself. And then other blur freaks go, "wow what an awesome shot".

I think there are times for subject isolation, and times for letting the context and environment around them show. But overall, I do find blurred to be quite overdone, overrated, and over praised.


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Alex_Venom
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May 06, 2011 09:42 |  #6

I think it's not quite as "liking" or "disliking" Bokeh.
The way I see things, Bokeh is a resource we have to drive the eyes of the beholder to the part of the photo we want to emphasize. Some photos will take it in a very good way.. some will not.

In a portrait, for instance, you're trying to drive attention to the person(s) you know... not to everyone.


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MNUplander
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May 06, 2011 09:49 |  #7

Playonpics.com wrote in post #12358658 (external link)
then get a Point and Shoot or buy a lens and use F22

I'd take this with a grain of salt - the person offering your advice has no lenses slower than 2.8...

But to the OP's point - you're not really discussing bokeh, its actually a DOF field issue - or in this case, the lack there of. Bokeh actually refers to the quality of the out of focus area, not the DOF itself.

But, if you dont like thin DOF there's no one saying you have to use it. If the background adds to your overall subject, why blow it away? Environmental portraits make good use of backgrounds all the time and I could see someone making an argument for keeping the background in some of their sports shots. Although, thin DOF may be a requirement to get enough light to stop action for some sporting events, but thats a different story.

Some people have this notion that the only reason to buy a DSLR is for 2-eyelash-thin DOF. But, Im a landscape shooter and I rarely shoot below f/11 but still would never consider going back to a P&S. My DSLR provides far superior IQ, more useable controls, and fast AF for when I want it - manual focus for when I dont (usually).

So why, for someone like me or someone like the OP who doesnt care for the one-eye-in-focus look, should we have to use a P&S?

Photography is a creative art - why should you conform to what other people like if you dont care for thin DOF?


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GavinTing
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May 06, 2011 09:50 |  #8

Just a random grab from one of the lens sample threads: https://photography-on-the.net …p=12353016&post​count=6965

Knowing how to control your background blur can give pretty good results


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bohdank
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May 06, 2011 09:51 |  #9

It has its place but is more often overdone, than under utilized, based on what people normally post, here and elsewhere. It's a style, much like the "i used a $10k camera to get this $50 look". -;)


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scroller52
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May 06, 2011 10:04 |  #10

bokeh is good when you (the photographer) decides that it is needed for that shot
when you take a picture of two people and one is blurred bc of a very shallow DOF, then that is no good.
sometimes you want to take a photo of just 1 subject, if that subject is in a very busy scene/background, you want the photograph to blur out everything else so the view can focus on the subject.


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oyster_photos
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May 06, 2011 10:06 as a reply to  @ bohdank's post |  #11

Managing depth of field is such an important skill and one I am working hard on right now.

Sometimes even a still life shot can be great without a razor thin DOF, this is a shot I took yesterday, a wider DOF but key elements of the photo are in sharp focus and maybe lots of bokeh would be distracting? This is right out of the camera (50D), no pp. Comments...?

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booja
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May 06, 2011 10:20 |  #12

It's all preference. I have a friend that's loves wide dof and likes everything sharp and in focus. He always shoots at like f/8. And it works for him. His shots come out nice.

But there are certain times that the background can be distracting. That's when you want to blur the snot out of everything. I've taken portraits before where there were always people in the background. Used my 85 at 1.2 or my 135 and didn't even notice they were there.




  
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bohdank
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May 06, 2011 10:46 |  #13

I spend as much time, probably more, on what is in front/behind/beside my subject than I do on the subject. I think taking the time to compose a shot pays off in better (more ineresting) images than just blurring everything into soup. Of course this is not always possible, but not as often a problem one might imagine.


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May 06, 2011 10:48 |  #14

the JOB dictates what tools your going to use, for every situation is different and not all opportunity has same answers. Bokeh can make or break.


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spacetime
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May 06, 2011 11:13 |  #15

I do find that in portraiture that thin DOF is over used. A lot of people like to shoot wide open or at f2 and the DOF is too small so certain features of the person are OOF. It doesn't create the isolation and separation that people hope for.

A wide DOF can be distracting but again this really depends on what size the image is being viewed at. I was fortunate enough to shoot an MLB game at field level and in web size prints the small DOF shots are more pleasing as the wide DOF causes the pic to become to busy. But when the pic is printed at a large size the one with greater DOF is more impressive. Your eye can only focus on certain areas and it's amazing the amount of detail that is captured at wider DOF.




  
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Am I the only one that does not like Bokeh?
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