June 1, 2008 at 1:14 pm #1320
Show us shallow depth of field.
Thanks for the theme suggestion, U-Man!June 1, 2008 at 3:08 pm #16666
For people who might not know what a shallow depth of field(DoF) means, it is having a narrow part of the picture in focus.
The easiest way to get this effect is to use a macro lens, or use the macro mode on a camera, and then get close as possible to a subject. Larger apertures help, but not all cameras offer control over that.
As an example:
(I am not going to use this image in the contest, it is just a good example I made a while ago)
The Wikipedia article for Depth of Field has a lot more information.June 1, 2008 at 4:21 pm #16667
Thanks for posting the example and explanation, corsec!June 4, 2008 at 2:54 pm #16668caradocParticipant
“Bokeh” specifically refers to the blurring of the background/out-of-focus areas in the image, not the depth of field itself…June 4, 2008 at 6:13 pm #16669
True, but it’s probably easiest for most folks to get bokeh if they have shallow dof 😉June 5, 2008 at 2:27 am #16670FutherMuckerParticipant
These three terms have always confused me…I’ve always thought that shallow DOF was the subject nearest was in focus….I thought narrow DOF was just that, narrow, anywhere in the frame….Bokeh, to me, has always meant that the out of focus background was somewhat recognizable, or something contrasty/interesting….Hmmmmf…Maybe I’ll try multiple examples to cover the range….Corsec: Hope to see some doughnuts from that mirror lens…..Elsinore: Got discs for the LB ?……That’s the stuff of bokeh creativity….Wish I had something worthy to post from my mirror lens. 🙁
I sold the LB a while back, too….I’m just not that artsy.June 5, 2008 at 8:23 pm #16671schneeParticipant
These three terms have always confused me…I’ve always thought that shallow DOF was the subject nearest was in focus….I thought narrow DOF was just that, narrow, anywhere in the frame….Bokeh, to me, has always meant that the out of focus background was somewhat recognizable, or something contrasty/interesting
I could be wrong, but ‘bokeh’ is more a subjective evaluation of the quality of the out-of-focus areas. Doughnuts are usually evaluated poorly, as are obvious signs of the aperture blades. Some folks get pretty crazy with the evaluations and swear by Leica or Zeiss optics, but I know that my 70-200mm f4 L has better bokeh than my 24-85mm non-L, so those folks are probably onto something.
A shallow DOF can be shown with a distant subject, but the way optics work, the zone-of-focus increases as subject distance increases. That means that “shallow” is hard to show for, say, mountains. Not sure what “narrow” DOF is, if it isn’t “shallow”.June 5, 2008 at 8:41 pm #16672
Here is a good calculator for seeing how focal length, aperture, sensor size and subject distance affect the DOF:
Note that if you use that calculator, you need to enter the actual focal length, not the “35mm equivelant” ones, so for a compact camera the focal length should not be above 50mm, and could easily be less than 10mm.June 6, 2008 at 2:30 am #16673FutherMuckerParticipant
I could be wrong, but ‘bokeh’ is more a subjective evaluation of the quality of the out-of-focus areas.
I’m pretty sure that’s correct. I bought a Sigma 30mm f1.4 a while back, and many of the reviews were praising the buttery soft bokeh it has..It’s still a blurry subject for me, this bokeh thing.
That’s a great link, Corsec !….Thanks for sharing.June 8, 2008 at 4:29 am #16674lokisbongParticipant
I have done a little bit of research on this and can say wikipedia is not enough info. the other random sites I looked at did tend to agree with schnee though.I’m not sure if my camera does this bokeh effect correctly. how can I test this out.June 8, 2008 at 4:50 am #16675
I have done a little bit of research on this and can say wikipedia is not enough info. the other random sites I looked at did tend to agree with schnee though.I’m not sure if my camera does this bokeh effect correctly. how can I test this out.
Here is one easy way to test bokeh, where the term “bokeh” refers to the quality of the out of focus areas.
My setup was to have 3 lights, one in the middle that would be in focus, one much further away, and then another closer in, but at the edge of the image. The result in my 500mm mirror lens:
A lens that has good bokeh would render the far and near lights as a smooth dot with no rings or holes. This lens type is famous for its horrible bokeh, and you can easily see why.
As to whether your camera “does this bokeh effect correctly”, if it is a compact camera, then you are going to have to get really close (maybe under ~3 feet), with stuff in the background to be blurred.
DOF and bokeh are horribly confusing topics, I agree. I hope this helps.
And another good resource: the DoF group on flickr, with 200,000 pictures claimed to use DoF.June 8, 2008 at 5:03 am #16676lokisbongParticipant
Thanks I’m going to try that. As soon as I find some lights that don’t overpower my cameraJune 8, 2008 at 5:07 am #16677U-ManParticipant
I agree with many of the comments and I’m getting into photography enough to appreciate the discussion. However, my initial intent for this theme was pretty simple. I just wanted to see a bunch of pics where the subject ‘pops’ because the background and foreground are fuzzy. I wanted to work on this basic technique. I think that a fair number of our participants are relatively inexperienced and this could push them a little too.
A couple of hours walking around with just my 100 mm macro has already taught me to pay more attention to the background.
The idea that different lenses produce different quality of bokeh is something that I have read before. But it never really sunk in until reading schnee’s comment. I’ll have to actively notice that over the next few weeks. Perhaps I’ll take a bunch of pics with the same set up using all of my lenses and decide for myself.
/another example of farktography helping me get better at something I enjoy. 🙂June 8, 2008 at 5:09 am #16678U-ManParticipant
Maybe I’ll use corsec67’s set up too. Thanks for the input.June 8, 2008 at 2:33 pm #16679
Maybe I’ll use corsec67’s set up too. Thanks for the input.
Christmas tree lights.
The strands that are battery powered are useful as they can be used anywhere, of course.
I think lenses with aspheric lens elements tend to have worse bokeh, with harsh edges and rings in the out of focus dots.
That 100mm macro lens should have really good bokeh, because it is almost impossible to get everything in focus when doing a true macro (1:1) shot with that kind of lens.
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