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Old Dec 21, 2005, 6:29 PM   #11
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Gentlemen, these are some outstanding shots. I did not previously understand "Bokeh" and still don't understand it fully. However, I like what I see. I am going to try some shots tonight. Our Christmas tree is right in front of a double-paned window. All the lights create double reflections in the window. I think there are some real possibilities here.

Cal
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Old Dec 22, 2005, 1:07 AM   #12
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Hi Cal!

I also didn't understand what bokeh was till I got more into photography, and especially of late with my new DSLR (Canon 350D / digital rebel xt).

"Bokeh" is a Japanese word meaning something along the lines of the "out of focus / fuzziness" - which we normally see as the pleasant "background blur" in a photo typically portrait shots (where the subject "stands out"!). As you can see different cameras, and particullarly lenses have different amounts and types of "bokeh". :idea:

"Bokeh" will be affected by:

1. The number of aperature blades (parts of the lens that close / open changing the f-stop value) determines. More and higher quality blades gives a rounder (more circular) rather than a "hexagonal" ornnnn-agonal shape (hope this makes sense!) .. as I understand there are even "even aperature rounded blades!" AND

2. the actual aperature f-value (i.e. the lower the f value of the photo taken, the more blur you will see in the out of focus area) AND

3. distance to the focal distance ("in focus" part) - that is the "centre of the depth of field.."RELATIVE to the distance to the "out of focus" parts (the background) AND

4.the zoom power and magnification value of the lens too affects it (e.g. for a lens (or macro lens) with say a 100mmvalue focussing on a nearby object ... that will give a distinct background blur - bokeh type)

I hope what I've stated above is accurate... if not I stand corrected!:|

But it's not really that technical when taking the shots. You get a knack for it intuitively after a while (e.g. low f -value, focus on something close... e.g. even your hand) and then in the background you have a background blur / or the visible part of the "bokeh".

Have a great safe Christmas.

Paul
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Old Dec 22, 2005, 1:19 AM   #13
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Here is an example of the same scene (taken seconds after the first one) with LESS bokeh.... (higher f value, different focus length and focal distance! Check out the exif (camera information encrypted on the photos) to see the differences!

In my opinion the candles with background tree were almost perfectly placed (from where I was sitting) to creat a nice background bokeh photo... and hence my earlier addition to this thread/ topic! IMHO the earlier photo I made is 100 times nicer than this second one...

Paul
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Old Dec 22, 2005, 2:26 AM   #14
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Paul I completely agree, the first is superior. Mahalo for the explanation on "Bokeh", I thought someone mis-spelled a word, honest to God!.



Aloha
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Old Dec 22, 2005, 10:54 AM   #15
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selvin wrote:
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Paul I completely agree, the first is superior. Mahalo for the explanation on "Bokeh", I thought someone mis-spelled a word, honest to God!.

Aloha
I'm shocked!! Being accused of mespelin a wurd?:blah:No worries, I am a horrible speller. I only learned about "bokeh" from this site and other posters photos. In my mind this is what these challenges are all about, learning more about how to use our cameras properly and make great photos!

Paul's 2 pics are a perfect example of the importance of the settings on your camera. The first is a great photograph of a nicely composed Christmas scene. The 2nd is a documentation of some candles and a tree in the background.(No offense intended Paul) Anyone else have examples how their camera renders it?

Selvin, if you do find any spelling errors, feel free to keep them!:lol:
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Old Dec 22, 2005, 10:53 PM   #16
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Here is an attempt I tried. I shot about 30 pictures before I got one that was "this good"! Most were grossly overexposed. I forgot about the meter turning night into day! -2.0 EV compensation helped a lot. Note also that the tree is all white. This didn't help much with the exposure problems!



I've still got a lot to learn about this technique.

Cal

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Old Dec 28, 2005, 2:25 AM   #17
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selvin wrote:
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Paul I completely agree, the first is superior. Mahalo for the explanation on "Bokeh", I thought someone mis-spelled a word, honest to God!.

Aloha
Hi Selvin

Well my Japanese vocab (written in Roman script) is pretty much limited to this word! Thanks for your agreement! Aloha

Paul
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Old Dec 28, 2005, 2:27 AM   #18
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GoCubs wrote:
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In my mind this is what these challenges are all about, learning more about how to use our cameras properly and make great photos!

Paul's 2 pics are a perfect example of the importance of the settings on your camera. The first is a great photograph of a nicely composed Christmas scene. The 2nd is a documentation of some candles and a tree in the background.(No offense intended Paul) Anyone else have examples how their camera renders it?

GoCubs, Hi!

I'm glad to hear your positive words about these forums, and I also agree with you! We can help each other with tips, critiques, knowledge. I'm still a beginner in many ways, but I enjoy learning! Btw, no offence taken with your comments about the 2nd photo, I totally agree! :-)

Paul
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Old Dec 28, 2005, 2:31 AM   #19
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calr wrote:
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Here is an attempt I tried. I shot about 30 pictures before I got one that was "this good"! Most were grossly overexposed. I forgot about the meter turning night into day! -2.0 EV compensation helped a lot. Note also that the tree is all white. This didn't help much with the exposure problems!

I've still got a lot to learn about this technique.

Cal

Hi Cal! Well I'm glad you tried and tried and tried! (30 photos!) Well done. Indeed sometimes lighting can be very tricky to get "just right". Interestingly I didn't have to use any EV balancing for my photo posted, but in other occasions I have used it to get a good light level.

I like your posted photo... though I might be nitpicking I do find the "white" of the tree somewhat distracting to the "bokeh-ed" lights. btw, the white looks orange / brown on my screen. But I do like the Christmas tree shape and lights colours.

I'm interested, what camera do you have (were you using)? Note also the "bokeh" are pointy in shape... that shows the number of aperature bladesand quality.

Best wishes!

Paul
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Old Dec 28, 2005, 9:17 AM   #20
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Thanks for the comments. The camera is a Nikon D100, Sigma 28-70mm f2.8 lens.

Now that I know more about Bokeh, I will add it to the list of future challenges.

Cal

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