Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Embrace the Blur

The word bokeh is one of my favorites. Bokeh is also one of my favorite techniques in photography. If you're not a photographer or if you know nothing about photography (and even if you do), it's likely that you don't know what this word means. Bokeh, a Japanese word, is a photographic term referring to the appearance of out-of-focus areas in an image produced by a camera lens.

Photographers know that one of the characteristics that separates photographic imaging from a drawing or a painting is the matter of focus. John Szarkowski also talked about this. For those of us who are lucky enough, when we look at the world our autofocus eyes see everything in-focus and this is the way that many artists have rendered their paintings. A camera lens presents an opportunity for selectivity in image-making where we can portray objects in the foreground and background in or out of focus. This is achieved by changing the aperture of your lens - a large aperture shows strong out-of-focus effects while a smaller aperture produces a longer depth of field, allowing objects at a wide range of distances to all be in focus at the same time.

Check out bokeh whores , one of my favorite Flickr groups.

Here are some images from my archives that illustrate this:

Hot Purple Lips

Plates for Sale

it's not easy being green

No Trespassing



mereces lo que sueñas

Flowers on a String

Portrait of a Wannabe Porn Star

Thanks for the inspiration...

PS--I'm having issues with my server so for some reason, none of the hyperlinks are working. Here are some links that you can check out while I resolve this issue. :)

http://www.idigitalphoto.com/dictionary/bokeh

http://www.idigitalphoto.com/dictionary/depth_of_field

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aperture

http://esabet.blogspot.com/2008/06/losing-focus-or-how-i-learned-to-stop.html

http://ciaochessa.blogspot.com/2008/06/photographers-eye-detail.html

http://www.flickr.com/photos/ciaochessa/sets/

http://www.flickr.com/groups/bokehwhores/