Results 1 to 11 of 11

Thread: Getting good bokeh

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Posts
    676

    Getting good bokeh

    Can a good bokeh effect be planned into a photo or is it lucky if it comes out right. What can I do to help to get that good bokeh effect. In sunshine, after rain or at night?

  2. #2
    Dizzy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Concrete, WA. USA
    Posts
    686
    Real Name
    Mike

    Re: Getting good bokeh

    Quote Originally Posted by Skyline View Post
    Can a good bokeh effect be planned into a photo or is it lucky if it comes out right. What can I do to help to get that good bokeh effect. In sunshine, after rain or at night?

    Hi Dave,

    First thing I consider is the distance of the subject from the background..further the better. Then,
    I'll open the aperture to it's widest setting (shortest DOF). What is in the background makes a
    huge difference in the overall bokeh, as well as the size of the subject and distance from your lens
    to the subject. I'm pretty much self-taught, but I've found my best results with the lens as close to
    the subject as possible while still achieving perfect focus, and with the background as far from the
    subject as possible.

    Set yourself up a practice subject, and using a colored background of some sort try
    taking the pics with the background and lens at varying distances from the subject.
    I did this in my backyard using 3 flowers in a vase as a subject, as although I had
    read plenty about it, I still had to get out there and figure it out for myself. Now, I
    can take those pics while in the field, knowing that I've picked the best setting for
    a sharp image with as good a bokeh as possible.


    Mike
    Last edited by Dizzy; 16th March 2012 at 09:08 PM.

  3. #3
    The Blue Boy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Manchester
    Posts
    787
    Real Name
    Mark Fleming

    Re: Getting good bokeh

    Hi Dave,

    Mike has summed it up very well. The only thing I'll add is that the better (read more expensive ) the lens, the better the results as (you've guessed it) the "faster and wider" glass will give you a choice of wider aperture settings , thus blurring the background more, so out of focus raindrops/lights will be softer/bigger.

    This shot was taken at 50mm (Prime) f1.4, 1/4 sec @iso 200. At smaller aperture settings the lights in the background got smaller.

    Getting good bokeh

    But having said all that, it's not always the case. This shot was taken at 255mm (film equivalent as I use a cropped sensor) f5.0, 1/30 sec @iso 100 with quite a "slow" 70-300 zoom. The background sunlight on the leaves was a fair distance away, which (to my mind anyway! ) gave the picture a nice effect.

    Getting good bokeh

    Hope this helps mate, .

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Posts
    676

    Re: Getting good bokeh

    Quote Originally Posted by Dizzy View Post
    Hi Dave,

    First thing I consider is the distance of the subject from the background..further the better. Then,
    I'll open the aperture to it's widest setting (shortest DOF). What is in the background makes a
    huge difference in the overall bokeh, as well as the size of the subject and distance from your lens
    to the subject. I'm pretty much self-taught, but I've found my best results with the lens as close to
    the subject as possible while still achieving perfect focus, and with the background as far from the
    subject as possible.

    Set yourself up a practice subject, and using a colored background of some sort try
    taking the pics with the background and lens at varying distances from the subject.
    I did this in my backyard using 3 flowers in a vase as a subject, as although I had
    read plenty about it, I still had to get out there and figure it out for myself. Now, I
    can take those pics while in the field, knowing that I've picked the best setting for
    a sharp image with as good a bokeh as possible.


    Mike

    Thanks for the help Mike. I'll be trying your way in the garden tomorrow (weather permitting)

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Posts
    676

    Re: Getting good bokeh

    Quote Originally Posted by The Blue Boy View Post
    Hi Dave,

    Mike has summed it up very well. The only thing I'll add is that the better (read more expensive ) the lens, the better the results as (you've guessed it) the "faster and wider" glass will give you a choice of wider aperture settings , thus blurring the background more, so out of focus raindrops/lights will be softer/bigger.

    This shot was taken at 50mm (Prime) f1.4, 1/4 sec @iso 200. At smaller aperture settings the lights in the background got smaller.

    Getting good bokeh

    But having said all that, it's not always the case. This shot was taken at 255mm (film equivalent as I use a cropped sensor) f5.0, 1/30 sec @iso 100 with quite a "slow" 70-300 zoom. The background sunlight on the leaves was a fair distance away, which (to my mind anyway! ) gave the picture a nice effect.

    Getting good bokeh

    Hope this helps mate, .
    Nice one Mark. I have a nifty 50. Do you think that would be best to practice with as a starter?

  6. #6
    herbert's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Sussex, UK
    Posts
    471
    Real Name
    Alex

    Re: Getting good bokeh

    Also think about the shape of the objects in the background. Round objects will blur into nice bokeh. Sharp lines will often blur into bad bokeh. This can be mitigated by expensive lenses optimised for bokeh. But it is cheaper to move and reframe the shot.

    A common shot where lines can form nasty bad bokeh in your photos is macro work with plants. Plants have lots of annoying lines from stems, branches, grass and they often criss cross each other. It can look horrible. Try to frame the shot as best you can to not include these items.

    If things do show up in your bokeh that you do not like then you can apply some blur and darken them so they are not so distracting.

    Alex

  7. #7
    The Blue Boy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Manchester
    Posts
    787
    Real Name
    Mark Fleming

    Re: Getting good bokeh

    Dave,

    I have a nifty 50. Do you think that would be best to practice with as a starter?
    Yeah, the nifty would be ideal to play around and discover different effects.

    You could even start playing with shapes. (Badly, in my case! )

    Getting good bokeh

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Posts
    676

    Re: Getting good bokeh

    Quote Originally Posted by herbert View Post
    Also think about the shape of the objects in the background. Round objects will blur into nice bokeh. Sharp lines will often blur into bad bokeh. This can be mitigated by expensive lenses optimised for bokeh. But it is cheaper to move and reframe the shot.

    A common shot where lines can form nasty bad bokeh in your photos is macro work with plants. Plants have lots of annoying lines from stems, branches, grass and they often criss cross each other. It can look horrible. Try to frame the shot as best you can to not include these items.

    If things do show up in your bokeh that you do not like then you can apply some blur and darken them so they are not so distracting.

    Alex
    Thank you for the explanation. I took this in January this year. I can now see what you mean. Leaves don't work lol

    Getting good bokeh





    I did




    Quote Originally Posted by The Blue Boy View Post
    Dave,



    Yeah, the nifty would be ideal to play around and discover different effects.

    You could even start playing with shapes. (Badly, in my case! )

    Getting good bokeh
    Cool. I did mess about a very small amount over Christmas, but forgot all about it until today.

    This really the only one where I could say I've kind of done one.

    Getting good bokeh

  9. #9
    rpcrowe's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Southern California, USA
    Posts
    12,196
    Real Name
    Richard

    Re: Getting good bokeh

    Bokeh. being the subject renditon of the out of focus areas in an image is controlled by several factors...

    The aperture is one of the first concerns. Eight and nine bladed diaphragms form a more perfect circle than five bladed apertures such as in the Canon 50mm f/1.8 Mark-II. Some recent offerings by Canon have rounded apereture blades. There may be others but the 70-200mm f/4L IS and 70-200mm f/2.8L IS ii are two lenses which I know have rounded aperture blades. The bokeh from a 70-200mm f/4L IS is very smooth. Here is an example of the smooth bokeh attained by the 70-200mm f/4L IS lens:

    Getting good bokeh

    Obviously you can attain a more narrow DOF using a longer focal length lens with a wider aperture than shooting with a shorter lens with a smaller aperture. The more of the frame that is OOF, the more noticeable the bokeh. However, that doesn't necessarily equate with more pleasing bokeh.

    Pleasing bokeh is quite important (IMO) when shooting macro photography since so very much of the image is frequently OOF. My Tamron 90mm f/2.8 AF SP macro lens produces pretty smooth and pleasing bokeh even when there are highlights in the OOF areas...

    Getting good bokeh

    The most annoying bokeh, IMO, is the doughnut shaped OOF highlights you get when shooting with a mirror lens.

  10. #10

    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Guwahati,India
    Posts
    90
    Real Name
    Sugata Goswami

    Re: Getting good bokeh

    I think these are the four factors on which quantity of bokeh is dependent.

    1. Aperture at which you shoot. Wider the aperture (lower f stop), more the bokeh.
    2. Minimum focusing distance of lens. Closer you are to the minimum focusing distance of lens, more the Bokeh.
    3. Distance between in focus object and background. More the distance, more the bokeh. (Remember when taking outdoor portraits.)
    4. Focal length of Lens. Longer the focal length of lens, more the bokeh.

    For the quality of bokeh, the lens is a major contributor. Also the background which is being bokehed - what you have, thats what you will get.

    Cheers!!

  11. #11

    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Posts
    676

    Re: Getting good bokeh

    Thank you Richard and Sugata for the great help.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •