What is Bokeh and How to Capture it

What is Bokeh?
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.

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.

What is Bokeh?
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




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