We are fast approaching my very favorite time of year for photography.
Spring is my favorite time for photography because I love shooting spring landscapes and, particularly, spring flowers. And I especially love capturing images with bokeh.
Although bokeh is a pretty fancy-sounding word, its meaning is actually really simple.
Bokeh is a Japanese word that means ‘blur’. So when we talk about bokeh in terms of a particular photo, we are talking about the visual characteristics of the out-of-focus areas of that photo.
That means that any part of an image that’s out of focus is considered bokeh.
So, when I say that I’m capturing images with bokeh, what I really mean is that I’m photographing with a short depth of field in such a way that the background of the image is rendered as soft, creamy and out-of-focus.
You may be thinking that capturing these kind of images requires expensive, high-end lenses. But that’s not true at all.
While it’s certainly easier to create a beautiful bokeh effect using an expensive lens with a wide aperture, it can be done with a less expensive lens.
In the video below, Matt Granger shows you how.
When watching this video, remember that capturing bokeh is all about controlling the area of focus–the depth of field–around your subject and, then, keeping your background out of that area.
And, don’t forget that depth of field is controlled by four factors:
- The size of your camera’s sensor
- The focal length that you are shooting with
- The aperture size
- The focusing distance to your subject
So, to reduce your depth of field:
- Shoot with the largest aperture
- Zoom in to shoot at the largest focal length
- Get is as close as possible to your subject
With all that done, it’s then just a matter of composing so that the background of your image is a good distance from your subject.
This may all sound a bit complicated, but Matt puts it all together for you.