Well Jeff, you are right, it is all very very subjective and at this point it is just a matter of semantics.
And that's why there should be a REAL definition that leaves no room for subjectivity. The subjectivity part IS IN THE REALM of opinion, that can't be a definition or you will have everyone arguing about what it means.
Sure, any burred out area of a photo due to shallow Dof and not due to a miss focus could indeed possess to some degree a level of bokeh,
"Some degree of bokeh"? See what I mean? What if you say it only has a small degree and I say it is the most moving blurred area due to depth of field I have ever seen? The point is, it's not for me or you to say what SOME DEGREE is.
if an individual finds it to be visually appealing. However, another way for me to describe how I see it is this way....if you were to take the same shot with the same camera with the same settings (aperture wide of course) with two different lenses (same FL...say 85mm), the stage would be set for a debate over which had a higher quality or pleasing area of OOF/blur.
The debate would be SUBJECTIVE, which cannot be used as a DEFINITION. A definition needs to be DEFINITE!! We would be debating which of the two BOKEH SHOTS was more appealing, that's not the same as saying one IS BOKEH and the other IS NOT bokeh. That's a completely different thing. This would not be a real definition of bokeh.
To me, this is the heart of the meaning of the word bokeh...the quality of the oof area due to shallow Dof.
That is not the meaning. The "QUALITY" can be debated, but that doesn't mean that the blur area of either lens is NOT bokeh, it just means that YOU MAY PREFER one over the other. My definition is a real definition that is NOT up for interpretation, and that is required for a definition to be definite.
Again, you are right, this is very very subjective. But, I still do not agree that "blur = bokeh".
Then after saying this you should be able to give me a REAL definition of what it is, yet every time you attempt to explain it you describe VALUE judgements that others might not agree with.
That is too cut and dry, it is a much more abstract concept than that.
A definition is never abstract. Whether you personally find it appealing is abstract, and that should be in the realm of opinion. A definition needs to be cut and dried, then within that cut and dried definition we can discuss whether a bokeh shot holds any appeal to you or me. So any oof area due to dof is bokeh, that's easily definable, cut and dried, very clear and understandable, always the same for EVERY photog in every situation, it's a definition everyone can be equal in and then we discuss the value of that bokeh and whether it moves us or not.
Now, I am leaving to go camping right now for a few days. I hope to have some nice blurry photos to share when I come back.
And I may find them the best bokeh shots I have ever seen, you may find them very LOW on your list of your best. If we both agree that the oof areas are bokeh, then we are on equal footing with a clear definition, then we can discuss how much I love your bokeh shots and why.
Wow, camping, my goodness, I haven't been camping in years. Darn, I want to go and take my 5D2. That makes me want to just get my family together and just say, WE ARE GOING CAMPING DARNIT!!!
Really, we love photography, enjoy your camping my friend, wish I could go.