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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?

 
nicksan
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May 06, 2011 11:16 |  #16

There's a time and place for everything...including bokeh.




  
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May 06, 2011 11:17 |  #17

picturecrazy wrote in post #12358726 (external link)
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.

I would say that many with the proper knowledge tend to overdo it. I think the average snap-shooter believes that the more of a scene in focus, the better. Overdoing it is a backlash to that philosophy.

Anyway, that's my theory.


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May 06, 2011 11:29 |  #18

My theory is that P&Sers haven't yet learned how they can use DOF to enhance a scene. I see the same thing in macro sometimes. You hear "you have to use F16+ for macro". Well...not always. Some subjects can benefit from really isolating a small portion of them and increase interest.


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May 06, 2011 11:33 |  #19

calvinjhfeng wrote in post #12358676 (external link)
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.

the out of focus parts of the image we see is not blurred by the brain, but by the lens in the eye. if we see motion in the blur we refocus our eyes which is what deblurs it.




  
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james_in_baltimore
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May 06, 2011 12:01 |  #20

I think it's also important to note that DOF changes in relation to focal length, aperture, and distance to subject. So, for sports, much of the time they don't have much choice, using long lenses and having to shoot wide open or close to it so that the shutter speed is high enough to stop motion. obviously, you can always up the ISO by a stop and then go up an f-stop, but that in many cases would result in a noisier photo with a background which is just slightly less blurry. Similar things can be said when shooting weddings.


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Gregg.Siam
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May 06, 2011 12:17 as a reply to  @ post 12359351 |  #21

I always thought there was bokeh and a blurred background. Even though a blurred background is technically bokeh, it differs from good bokeh.

Maybe ignore looking at the bokeh and just look how it makes the image itself stand out.


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Tommydigi
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May 06, 2011 12:22 |  #22

The only thing that really annoys me with blurring the background is when only 1 eye is in focus.


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ken_vs_ryu
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May 06, 2011 12:27 |  #23

james_in_baltimore wrote in post #12359604 (external link)
I think it's also important to note that DOF changes in relation to focal length, aperture, and distance to subject. So, for sports, much of the time they don't have much choice, using long lenses and having to shoot wide open or close to it so that the shutter speed is high enough to stop motion. obviously, you can always up the ISO by a stop and then go up an f-stop, but that in many cases would result in a noisier photo with a background which is just slightly less blurry. Similar things can be said when shooting weddings.

I just learned this bokeh equation.

B = Focal Length / (Aperture * 35mm Crop Factor)

The larger the B, the thinner the DOF is.


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May 06, 2011 12:28 |  #24

picturecrazy wrote in post #12358726 (external link)
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.

I agree.

I'll go even further and say that I think blurring the snot out of everything shows a general lack of creativity.


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Green ­ Man
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May 06, 2011 13:08 |  #25

Great thread and discussion and I'm guilty of much of what's being discussed but I'm also learning. This shot for example, my first instinct was to annihilate the background but I stopped and thought it would be a more interesting picture to have a hint of the shiny new grain silo in the background as a juxtaposition against the rusted old wheel. I took a few steps back from the wheel and shot at 2.8 instead of 2. I still got great subject isolation but also retained enough detail to add a little extra interest to the shot.

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May 06, 2011 13:10 as a reply to  @ cdifoto's post |  #26

BOKEH IS NOT DEPTH OF FIELD

Bokeh is a Japanese term meaning the SUBJECTIVE QUALITY of the out of focus areas of an image!

Bokeh cannot be objectively measured. In fact, what one person may consider interesting or pleasing bokeh, another person may dislike. This is illustrated very well by the horrible (IMO) donut shaped highlights in the out of focus areas of an image shot with a mirror lens. Some people hate it while others think it is pretty cool.

Photo terminology is constantly evolving and perhaps, BOKEH and DEPTH OF FIELD may someday be used interchangeably. However, they do not have the same meaning at this point in time.

I will admit that bokeh is more noticeable when a large portion of an image is out of focus. However you cannot have more bokeh, less bokeh, thinner bokeh or any other objective descriptor of bokeh. The bokeh descriptors should be subjective such as more pleasing bokeh, ragged bokeh, lovely bokeh, creamy bokeh, ugly bokeh, etc.

Depth of field is the objective measurement of the distance in front and to the rear of the point focused on that is in acceptable focus. The parameters which control DOF are:

1. Focal length
2. f/stop
3. distance focused on
4. circle of confusion

Numbers 1-3 are pretty well self explanatory. However, the circle of confusion is dependent on the native sensor or film size. A simplistic explanation is that a smaller sensor/film size needs to be sharper because it needs to be enlarged to a greater degree than does a larger sensor/film size image.

An example of the different circles of confusion is that the circle of confusion for a 1.6x crop image is .019mm while the circle of confusion for a full frame sensor is .03mm.

On the other hand, bokeh is controlled by several parameters but, primarily by the shape of the camera aperture. The more smoothly round the aperture, the smoother and less jagged the bokeh. Generally, the more blades making up the aperture, the smoother the bokeh. A eight bladed aperture will usually form a more perfect circle than a five bladed aperture. The shape of the blades themselves, also contribute to the formation of a more perfect round circle. Canon introduced rounded aperture blades in their 70-200mm f/4L IS lens and continued with rounded blades in the new 70-200mm f/2.8L IS ii lens. Either of these lenses will produce a very smooth bokeh because their apertures produce a more perfectly rounded circle.

The bokeh will, however could be more noticeable when using the 70-200mm f/2.8L IS ii lens wide open than when using the f/4L IS wide open because, the DOF from that lens MAY be thinner. I say MAY because it would depend upon the distance focused on and the focal length used - and of course the sensor size with which you are shooting.


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ChuckingFluff
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May 06, 2011 13:14 |  #27

It's fine you don't like it. Now get yourself a nice P&S.




  
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May 06, 2011 13:27 |  #28

I spent hours looking at photos taken with the Canon 50mm f.95, wide open, yesterday.
Maybe you should take a peak and find the beauty in the bokeh!

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May 06, 2011 13:35 |  #29

Green Man wrote in post #12360015 (external link)
Great thread and discussion and I'm guilty of much of what's being discussed but I'm also learning. This shot for example, my first instinct was to annihilate the background but I stopped and thought it would be a more interesting picture to have a hint of the shiny new grain silo in the background as a juxtaposition against the rusted old wheel. I took a few steps back from the wheel and shot at 2.8 instead of 2. I still got great subject isolation but also retained enough detail to add a little extra interest to the shot.

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IMG_3262-Edit (external link) by Sperry's photos (external link), on Flickr

I happened to have scrolled up and noticed the image before reading your narrative. I thought that was a well done shot with just enough blurring to still give a sense of where this wheel was. A good use of DOF, imo


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May 06, 2011 15:40 |  #30

bohdank wrote in post #12360154 (external link)
I happened to have scrolled up and noticed the image before reading your narrative. I thought that was a well done shot with just enough blurring to still give a sense of where this wheel was. A good use of DOF, imo

agreed, very nice shot.


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Am I the only one that does not like Bokeh?
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