What is Bokeh and How to Capture it
What is depth of field?
Your depth of field can best be understood as different distances from your camera, and how much of them you want in focus. How much depth you get in focus is determined by your camera’s f-stop. If you want a lot of your picture in focus, for things like nature photography or family portraits, you would use a higher f-stop. But if you want that narrow depth of field where everything is blurred out but your subject, you want a lower f-stop like 2.8 or lower.
What is an f-stop?
The f-stop is the term for how wide the opening of your lens is (also called the aperture of your lens).
At a low number like 2.8, the opening is wide open, giving you a narrow depth of field; at a higher number like 22, it’s a smaller opening, giving you a wider depth of field.
A good way to remember how this number changes your depth of field is that as your f-stop gets higher, you get more of your picture in focus, and as the f-stop gets lower, you get less of your picture in focus.
Check out this example of two cars, with the smaller car placed farther away from the lens. You can see that the car in the background is completely blurred out because we have the lens at its widest opening, which is f 2.8 for this lens. Even the car in front only has a specific point in focus because we have such a narrow depth of field.
In this next picture, we’ve upped the f-stop to 7.1 and you can see more of the close car is in focus now, and you can even see the farther car a little better now.
In this third picture we have raised the f-stop all the way up to 22, meaning the opening of our lens is at its smallest. Now we can see the car in the background much more clearly, and all of the first car is in focus.
The other thing your f-stop changes besides the depth of field is the amount of light you’re letting in to the camera. A smaller aperture, or opening in your lens, is obviously going to let in less light, and a wider aperture like 2.8 is going to let in more light. The amount of light you let into your camera determines the exposure of your picture.
Camera Settings that Change Exposure
There are three settings on your camera that you can change to control the light: f-stop (the aperture of your lens), shutter speed, and ISO. So if you are letting in too much light trying to get the background bokeh, you’ll make up for it with the shutter speed or ISO. To get the very best exposure in any situation you’ll need to learn how each of these settings affects your picture and how you can use them to your advantage.
Bokeh is that creamy blurred-background look you’ve probably seen in much of modern photography. How do you capture bokeh with your camera? It’s accomplished by having a narrow depth of field, (or low f-stop) so that only a small portion of your frame is in focus. – See more at: http://photographerovernight.com/2013/general-photography-tips/what-is-bokeh-and-how-to-capture-it/#sthash.IkPxVQE6.dpuf
Telephoto lenses are generally thought of as being used to take photos of distant subjects – and of course this is true. Wildlife photographers use long telephotos to make frame filling pictures of tiny birds, or animals that are too shy to get near to. […]
Photography movies: Very often we just remember the iconic images from the great masters of photography. “The Kiss” from Robert Doisneau, for example. Or Robert Capa’s photo of a falling soldier in the Spanish Civil War. Not to mention Henri Cartier-Bresson’s brilliant captures of the”decisive […]
Now that summer is here we can look forward to some lovely long, hot days with plenty of sunshine. Gorgeous! But although bright sunlight lifts our spirits and feels so good for us in many ways, it can cause its own special problems for photography. […]
After many years as a keen amateur photographer, I decided to start a small landscape photography business called Lakescenes which I ran alongside my main job as an IT Manager. As business increased, I found myself working long, but rewarding, hours just to keep up […]
Rob Sheppard is a naturalist, nature photographer and videographer who says his favorite location is the one he is in at any time. He is the author/photographer of over 40 books, as well as a well-known speaker and workshop leader, and a Fellow with the […]
Gary Hart has photographed California’s natural beauty for over 30 years. Gary’s photos and writing have appeared in many publications, most recently Outdoor Photographer and Sierra Heritage magazines. You’ll also find his images in greeting cards, postcards, calendars, and many galleries and private collections throughout the world.
Originally from Poland, based in London UK, Jaroslav has background in Fine Arts, degree in Architecture, and wide array of experience. Being an Architect taught him how to be resourceful and to solve complex problems with simple, yet innovative solutions. Constant passion for graphic & […]
Next time you’re in the countryside at night do yourself a favour: look up. If it’s clear and conditions are right you’ll see a seemingly infinite number of stars twinkling like diamonds on a sheet of black velvet. As a visual pleasure it’s hard to […]
Contrast is usually at its highest when a scene is backlit. In this image there wasn’t much that could be done to lighten the shadows. I exposed so that the highlights weren’t too badly burnt out and didn’t worry too much about the shadows. Contrast […]
Colour can be distracting. Stripped of colour an image is entirely about the subject (unless of course the entire point of the subject is its colour…). This is particularly true of portraiture. Black and white arguably conveys the inner soul of the subject more powerfully […]