Ladies Camera Club

30 Dec 2012

Bokeh, the easy way

Some people achieve bokeh by accident and some know how to nail it.  Me?  If it happens, I love it but its not essential.  I love it when it happens on a super sharp aperture (and not always at its lowest depth - which can be F1.2 in some cases).  I prefer the richness of a proper composed image with the correct D of F (namely F5.6 for face, F7.1 for full length) and trust that my 50mm F1.4 lens will still give off a wonderful bokeh as an extra.  No way should you take a picture of a face at F1.4 JUST so you can achieve those rich globules of light.  A head shot at F1.4 would only get 5 pores in focus, let alone the nose, eyes and mouth!

Ive been at Mums enjoying her Christmas decoration - we pulled ours down on the 27th as the clutter was killing me - we had a full house over the festive period.  And a full house in a small house is strangulation of space..... to the extreme.  Anyway, whilst at Mum's I grabbed my camera to have a little play and share you some fun facts about these incredible blobs of light.

So here is Mum's tree.  This was taken at F1.4 with a shutter speed of 1/25, ISO 100.  Only a tiny fraction of the scene is in super sharp focus, the rest melts away to blur.  

This time, I sat back a little and I focused the camera on my hand, right in front of me.  I then moved my hand away and pointed the camera at the tree with EXACTLY the same settings as above.  Now see what happens...............Blobby Bokeh!

I did the same manoeuvre with the nest two images but made the shutter speed faster - to quell some of the orangey glow.  This was at a shutter speed of 1/80

I like how much darker and strange this gets - with a shutter speed of 1/160

I then slowed the shutter speed down to 1/5 to show you how light can affect the blobs in the other direction.  Same tree, same aperture, diff speeds.

Im not sure which one I like the most, really.
Its a fun experiment though.

And lastly, I couldn't resist this gorgeous poinsettia set on Mum's window ledge.  I always kill my poinsettias so its nice to borrow one from Mum and pretend I cultivated this myself. 

Wow, that red is incredible although I do think the 50mm lens does bring out the best of most subjects.

Do you want any more camera tricks or can you share some with me?

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Melanie Marshall said...

Fab Kirsty!! I am only just starting out again after a long hiatus and you inspire me. I'd love more tips - I just love looking at other peoples creations in photograph format. You clever girl, you :)

Anonymous said...

My tree looks amazing. Think I should leave it up. ha ha. Hands off my peel offs. I still love them.

Love having you home. x x x x


Angela Dawes said...

Great pictures, I wanted to try this out but just never got around to it?! I really need to start again with my neglected camera - although you have inspired me & I have got a few great shots this year. xx

Wishing you all happy & healthy New Year.xx

Becky said...

just tried this-fabby idea! thanks for sharing! I've seen photos where the circles are hearts-do you know how that would be done? Maybe the little lights are heart shape already??

Jaki Morris said...

Thanks so much for this. I love my tree and it will be up til twelfth night so I have plenty of time to try!

Take care

Carole Z said...

Hi Kirsty! Would love more camera tricks on your blog! Gorgeous photos as always...Happy New Year!!! Carole Z xx

Lisa said...

Kirsty, we love all your little tips! Please keep them coming
Lisa x