Jason Talks Gear - Bokeh | Jason Scott Photography
Jason Scott Photography
Sarasota Wedding Photographer - Siesta Key Beach Portraits

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Jason Talks Gear - Bokeh

This is part of a series of blog entries written by Jason about the more technical side of Jason Scott Photography. 

Bokeh is a photography term for background blur. The ability to create background blur is a key difference between amateur and professional photographers.

Bokeh is important because it separates the subject from the background. This creates dramatic looking photographs, but requires VERY expensive lenses.

Many photo studios recognize the aesthetic look of dramatic bokeh but don't want to invest in expenive cameras and lenses. So, it is typical for a studio have a “fake” blurry background printed on a sheet or wall. Chances are, that “fake” background makes it look like they have much better equipment.

Creating bokeh is easy. It is simply a function of using wider apertures (lower f numbers) at any given focal length and subject distance. So, how do you shoot at wider apertures? You propably can't with the lens you have! Lenses with wider apertures can cost ten times more than non-professional lenses.

Holiday time is the best time to experiment with bokeh. Christmas lights make very cool out-of-focus backgrounds. Each point of light becomes a soft round disc. 

You can change the shape of those background lights by adding a shape stencil to the front of your lens. Allyson got me a Creative Bokeh Kit for my birthday last December and we've had a lot of fun taking photos of Christmas lights. These kits make a great holiday gift for anyone who loves photography. We have a lot of fun making hearts, stars, and snowflakes.  

Here are a few fun examples of creative holiday bokeh:

We use bokeh at weddings to soften backgrounds and focus attention on the subjects of the photos. This not only removes background distracitons, it also gives the photograph a buttery, three dimentional look and feel. The bokeh creates a "wow" factor that can't otherwize be captured. It is the difference between a photo you like and photo you love. 

Here are a few more examples of great bokeh at weddings:

Sarasota Wedding Photography Samples by Jason Scott Photography

Sarasota Wedding Photography Samples by Jason Scott Photography

Sarasota Wedding Photography Samples by Jason Scott Photography

To find out more about the professional gear we use when we photograph Sarasota Weddings and Siesta Key Beach Portraits, click here.

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