Branch and Bokeh

flat.These are the moss-covered branches of a lilac bush in back of our house. I took this photo over a year ago, and I’ve hung on to it for two reasons. First, I really like it. And second, it’s a good photograph to illustrate bokeh.

Many of you already know what bokeh is, but for those who don’t, let’s talk about it for just a minute, shall we?

Bokeh is the blur in a photograph, or the aesthetic qualities of the blur. Bokeh occurs in parts of a photograph that are out of focus, or that lie outside the depth of focus.

I love to shoot photos with shallow depth of focus, with leaves lots of opportunities for bokeh.

With this sort of wide aperture setting, out-of-focus highlights take the shape of the lens aperture (the opening which lets in light). This is very obvious both on the left and the right hand sides of this photo.

Yesterday the Stayton Mail/Statesman Journal newspapers (Gannett Media) ran a story and photos I did on a local dairy and how they manage to stay in business. I used a shallow depth of field for the lead photo, which is a comical shot of a wide-eyed Holstein calf waiting for her morning feeding of milk.

Copyright Danita Cahill. All rights reserved.

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