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Thread: Why do we love boke?

  1. #1
    Alis's Avatar
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    Why do we love boke?

    It is not real (we don't see things that way), yet we all seem to love it and are willing to pay lots of money for it (to get lenses with better boke).

    I have asked this question here before during another discussion and someone Rob answered because it covers things that we do not like to see. But I did not think it is convincing.

    Curious to know if anyone else has any explanation

  2. #2

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    Re: Why do we love boke?

    I think usually it is a close up that we are seeing the boke on.. So with the boke background it places more empahsis on the main subject of the picture... Say the flower you have selected.

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    Re: Why do we love boke?

    Hi Ali,
    Did you mean bokhe (or are you Japanese)? Yes it is because the out of focus areas draw our attention to the in focus subject.

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    Re: Why do we love boke?

    A cluttered background with much detail distracts, while a blurred background may enhance the main subject, one feature that is particularly attractive in portraiture. Therefore, also the boke is supposed to roll off nicely, not creating disturbing patterns in the background. Lenses with a neutral or soft boke are preferred before those that have an edgy boke. Often it is not how much boke there is, but the quality of it, that matters. So the lens with the best boke is not always the one with the widest aperture.

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    Re: Why do we love boke?

    Good bokeh accentuates the subject while keeping the background somewhat interresting. Not too much but just enough to tickle your senses and keep your eyes from wandering off of the picture. (the back of your mind starts to fantasise about what's there)

    Bad bokeh does exactly the opposite. it pulls attention to the background hard (fi. too much DoF), or it even pushes your eyes away from the picture (fi. lots of donutshaped highlights that hurt your eyes)

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    Re: Why do we love boke?

    we never see bokeh because we can never really turn to see whats not in focus. when you focus on your computer screen, you look at the text. are you able to clearly see around that? outside your computer screen, just a foot to the left or right? you cant clearly see them unless you turn your eyes directly to them.
    thats my understanding of what bokeh is to us

  7. #7

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    Re: Why do we love boke?

    Quote Originally Posted by Noice View Post
    we never see bokeh because we can never really turn to see whats not in focus. when you focus on your computer screen, you look at the text. are you able to clearly see around that? outside your computer screen, just a foot to the left or right? you cant clearly see them unless you turn your eyes directly to them.
    thats my understanding of what bokeh is to us
    Imho Bokeh is pretty much what your peripheral vision is.

  8. #8
    Alis's Avatar
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    Re: Why do we love boke?

    Thank you, guys. Interesting views. I am reading them.

    Andre, no I am not Japanese, just illiterate I meant bokeh I guess!

  9. #9

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    Re: Why do we love boke?

    Quote Originally Posted by Alis View Post
    Thank you, guys. Interesting views. I am reading them.

    Andre, no I am not Japanese, just illiterate I meant bokeh I guess!
    Ali if you are illiterate I am dyslectic Japanese is boke. In Afrikaans it would be a misspelling for buck.

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    Re: Why do we love boke?

    I think it is because Bokeh is surreal... gives a "Dream like" image...

  11. #11
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    Re: Why do we love boke?

    Because it accentuates interst on and doesn't take away interest in the principle subject...

    Why do we love boke?

    Ragged bokeh tends to capure interest on its own...

  12. #12
    William W's Avatar
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    Re: Why do we love boke?

    Bokeh is fun to seek out and to photograph:

    Why do we love boke?

    Of course once Bokeh found and photographed, then there is all the considerations of the Post Production.

    I think there is a tad too much sharpening on the sample above: but on the other hand I am very happy with the overall Colour Balance.

    ***

    Quote Originally Posted by Alis View Post
    Why do we love boke[h]? It is not real (we don't see things that way), yet we all seem to love it and are willing to pay lots of money for it (to get lenses with better boke[h]).
    Not me.

    I don't buy lenses based upon their 'creamy bokeh'.
    And I don't get hot and sweaty drooling over an EF 85/1.2MkII because of its 'bokeh'.

    There are many elements to Bokeh and the lens's optical design and components are integral parts, but are each still only a PART of what makes the final Bokeh in an image. . .
    And then one has to be fixated on Bokeh in the first place: and I am not.

    IMO, the bits which are in focus in the picture and grabbing the moment are two far more important elements of the Photographic Process.

    WW
    Last edited by William W; 9th July 2012 at 04:27 AM.

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    Re: Why do we love boke?

    It is difficult to analyze bokeh by itself because it is one element that helps bring a photograph into balance as a whole. We live and die with polarities (note the one in this sentence). Bokeh, as others have mentioned, offers a background for a subject. Not every picture needs this duality. Landscape photographers often render the entire image in sharp focus. Abstract photographs can be completely blurry. But, when one does have the subject/background relationship, bokeh can offer more than just blur. It can provide a softness that balances the sharply rendered subject. It can have a cool hue while the subject is warm. It can be busy while the subject is simple or vice versa. Bokeh exists in a dynamic relationship with the subject. Often, photographers fall in love with bokeh and fall out of love with the original subject. That can result in imbalance. When the subject is primary and the bokeh complements it, we often don't notice it until our attention lingers because of its mysterious force.

  14. #14

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    Re: Why do we love boke?

    I suggest we do not see blurr because our eyes are incredibly quick at changing focus to what we look at and with the extremely narrow angle of view we have to move our eyes and focus changes unlike the stationary lens which reveals the blurr of things away from the point of focus as a blurr to greater or lesser extent.

    As I keep on reading by the b.... enthusiasts it is not blurr as I call it but rather the quality of the blurr

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