Lens-Artists Challenge #194 – Bokeh
“Life is like a camera. Focus on what’s important and….if things don’t work out, just take another shot.”Anonymous
This week Sofia’s Bokeh challenge pushed me to try some new techniques that I learned in a recent class on iPhone photography. Both my opening image and the one below were captured using my iPhone 12 Pro Max and are un-edited except for conversion to 4×6 format and framing. It also drew me to some of my favorite images from the past, which are included later in my post.
“You are the conductor – your orchestra are shapes, textures, stories, objects, patterns, emotions, design, moments, depth, focus, rhythm, shades, color, movement and light.”Steve Coleman
Both of the images were made during a simple walk around my neighborhood. I thank Sofia for pushing me out the door to practice both the class lessons and the simple act of observation, which is often lost in the minutia of everyday life. And now, as promised, a few of my favorite bokeh examples from the archives.
“Photographs help us to remember….and even more importantly they help us to decide what is worth remembering.”John Rosenthal
The image above is among my favorites because it illustrates several key elements of photography. The monkey is making an interesting gesture, his eyes have a lovely catchlight that includes me in it, and the subject is in clear focus with – per today’s challenge – a background of lovely, soft bokeh. Most importantly, it is a reminder for me of the incredible joy I experienced while amongst the wild animals of Botswana in their natural habitat.
I’ve included a gallery of some other favorite images which illustrate the power of bokeh in drawing the viewer’s attention to a subject. They follow no rhyme nor reason, but are simply some of my favorites.
“Reduce, simplify, and focus on what is absolutely essential by eliminating everything else.”Greg McKeown
A soft, creamy bokeh is yet another tool we can use to lend emphasis to our subjects. I would add one comment – while we can achieve it with any camera or lens (iPhones included) in my experience the better the lens the better the bokeh, or at least the easier it is to achieve. I’ll admit to missing my Nikon equipment when it comes to bokeh.
Thanks to Sofia for her focus on this important technique – we look forward to seeing your own examples. Please remember to use the Lens-Artists Tag and to link your responses to Sofia’s original here. Thanks also to John for his Birthday challenge last week (and of course a belated Happy Birthday to him!). We enjoyed your many interpretations and the creativity of those who chose not to include the images of family and friends who, like mine, prefer to stay out of the spotlight. We hope you’ll join us next week when Anne will lead the challenge on her Slow Shutter Speed Blog. Until then, as always please stay safe and be kind.
Interested in joining Lens-Artists? Click here for more information.