Flickr finds: Bokeh

In photography bokeh is defined as the aesthetic quality of the blur in out-of-focus areas of an image. The term originates from the Japanese word boke which means blur or haze.

Happy Couple by chewie 2008

Bokeh is often most visible around small background highlights, such as specular reflections and light sources, which is why it is often associated with such areas. However, bokeh is not limited to highlights; blur occurs in all out-of-focus regions of the image.

by Sylvain Latouche

Although difficult to quantify, some lenses enhance overall image quality by producing more subjectively pleasing out-of-focus areas. Good bokeh is especially important for large-aperture lenses, macro lenses, and long telephoto lenses because they are typically used with a shallow depth of field.

Wonderful day by clicking’s

Wine bottles by SurfaceSpotting

Bokeh characteristics may be quantified by examining the image’s circle of confusion. In out-of-focus areas, each point of light becomes an image of the aperture, generally a more or less round disc.

Let the music play by Marquisa

The secret to shooting bokeh lies in its definition: out of focus highlights. You need three things to shoot bokeh: pin point highlights, a large aperture and a short focal distance.

and a small pinch of bokeh by Borealnz

Oak by Meeganz

a cup of bokeh by Jacynthe Blaire

Click here for an in-depth tutorial on this beautiful technique.

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