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August 22, 2011

A Bokeh (BOH-Kay) for You to Behold

Written by The Lennon Bus

 

All right all you video and photography buffs, let’s talk Bokeh (which is pronounced BOH-kay).

What is it? 
Why is it there?
How can we manipulate it?

 


First off Bokeh is pretty darn cool.

 

Essentially, Bokeh is the area of a video or photographic image that is out of focus. It is generally associated with the highlighted regions, or light sources, that are out of focus.
When you are shooting (either video or still images) and you have a low aperture setting (which allows more light into your camera), you get a shallow depth of field, meaning you get a very selective focal region. That shallow depth of field will then cause bokeh to occur everywhere that is not in focus.

This is what I’m talking about:

 

 

 


Using our array of Sony video and still cameras on the Lennon Bus, such as the Sony EX-3 and Sony Alpha-900, we can achieve some pretty cool effects with bokeh.Sometimes, lens aberrations or aperture can change the way the out-of-focus area of the image is perceived, creating either good bokeh or bad bokeh.
The shape of the aperture is directly related to the shape of the bokeh.  Most lenses have a sort of polygonal aperture opening, thus, unless the aperture is all the way open, the defocused areas will be made up of a bunch of polygons.

 


Like This:

 

 

 


When the aperture is all the way open, the shape of the aperture is then a circle, creating the clean, circular shapes (shown in the first image) that bokeh is most typically associated with.

 


Let’s take this a step further.

 

Since bokeh shapes are just created by the shape of the aperture, you can actually manipulate the shape of bokeh, if you desire to do so.
By simply using black construction paper and some scissors, you can turn your camera’s bokeh into whatever shape you want.

 


Here is a really cool video that demonstrates what I am talking about:

 

 

So, since you now know about bokeh and how to mess with is, go out and get creative.  Now.

 

Next entry: Recording On The Road, And In Forest

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