Bokeh: What Is It?


Wikipedia defines bokeh as follows:

bokeh is the blur, or the aesthetic quality of the blur, in out-of-focus areas of an image, or the way the lens renders out-of-focus points of light.

The normal shape of the out-of-focus points of light is round or octagon because that is the shape of the aperture.


The photo above is one of those lawn decorations that is in the shape of a Christmas tree. Just aim, make it out of focus and presto, you have bokeh. Now the photo would be more impressive with an object in focus in the foreground, but I like pretty lights. <wink>

Lensbaby has a set of creative aperture discs that produce different shaped points of light (ie heart, star). You can also make your own shapes using some blank discs that come in the set. These only work with the Lensbaby systems.


If you want to do creative aperture with normal lenses, Photojojo has an SLR Bokeh kit that has many more shapes available.


I conducted an experiment in which I went to Hobby Lobby and picked up one of those paper punches used for scrapbooking. I picked a leaf shaped punch. Took some black construction paper and punched it, then taped it to the front of my lens. Presto, it worked. I was able to obtain leaf shaped point of light.

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Check out my full gallery of Christmas light bokeh on Google+

This is a great time of year to play with bokeh because of the abundance of Christmas lights, but it is actually fun anytime of year.



Additional Information


Happy shooting.

“If you see something that moves you, and then snap it, you keep a moment.” – Linda McCartney

Check out my About.Me page for my complete web presence

Depth Of Field (DOF)

Wikipedia defines Depth of Field (DOF) as follows:

“Depth of field (DOF) is the distance between the nearest and farthest objects in a scene that appear acceptably sharp in an image.”

There are two types of DOF

    • Shallow – Foreground is in focus and background is out of focus
    • Great – Objects in the foreground and background are in focus

Examples of Shallow DOF --


Example of Great DOF --


Below is a set of shots in which I changed the aperture each time affecting the depth-of-field. Notice how more and more of the pumpkins come into focus the lower (smaller) the aperture gets.

f/2.8                                          f/5.6                                      f/8


f/11                                      f/16                                          f/22


Shallow depth-of-field is very useful when you want your main subject to be in focus and the background not in focus. This leads the viewer’s eye to main part of the photo.

I hope, after this, you have a little better understanding of depth-of-field.


"The more you understand what inspires you, the more readily you can put yourself in it’s path." - David duChemin

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Experiment: Strawberries and Water

My first attempt at shooting strawberries in water.

Supplies used:

  • 1.5 gallon aquarium
  • Aluminum foil (for underneath the aquarium)
  • Lights (placed on both sides of the aquarium
  • SB-700 flash
  • 3 colors of folders (apply to the back of the aquarium for backgrounds)


  • Camera | Nikon D90  ~  Lens | Tokina 100mm Macro 2.8
  • Exposure | 0.008 sec (1/125)  ~  Aperture | f/8
  • Focal Length | 100 mm  ~  ISO Speed | 500
  • Flash on – Tripod used

Other Views


“There is only you and your camera. The limitations in your photography are in yourself, for what we see is what we are.” – Ernst Haas

Mobile Phone Photography

I love to take photos and I use whatever is at my disposal to do it even if it is my mobile phone.  I have heard so many photographers say "It's the photographer, not the camera." - I am working toward taking cool photos whether it's my iPhone, point-n-shoot or DSLR. Heck, I am even considering buying one of those disposable cameras from Walgreens to see what I can do with it.

Here are few photos that I have taken recently with my iPhone -

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Full iPhone Shots Set on Flickr

My favorite iPhone apps at this point in time are Camera+, Hipstamatic and PhotoShop Express.

Below are some great links that I have run across on the subject of mobile phone photography. 


"There are always two people in every picture:  the photographer and the viewer."  ~Ansel Adams

Playing With Focus or Losing My Marbles

Earlier this week, I decided to experiment a little with the Auto Focus on my Nikon D90. My subject was…marbles.

The settings were as follows

  • Lens: 50mm
  • F-Stop: 1.8 – 2.8
  • Exposure: 1/30 Sec
  • AF Area Mode: Single Point
  • Center Point Focus: Normal Zone
  • Picture Control: Standard
  • White Balance: Auto
  • ISO: 200
  • Active D-Lighting: Normal

Marbles1 Marbles2 Marbles3