Tim Knifton

Shooting wide open and Bokeh

I have been lucky enough to be able to buy a new 50mm lens. I decided a while ago to buy a Canon 50mm F1.4 for the quick focusing, pin sharp details and bokeh.

Definition of Bokeh

In photography, bokeh is the blur,or the aesthetic quality of the blur, in out-of-focus areas of an image. Bokeh has been defined as “the way the lens renders out-of-focus points of light”.However, differences in lens aberrations and aperture shape cause some lens designs to blur the image in a way that is pleasing to the eye, while others produce blurring that is unpleasant or distracting—”good” and “bad” bokeh, respectively.

Bokeh occurs for parts of the scene that lie outside the depth of field. Photographers sometimes deliberately use a shallow focus technique to create images with prominent out-of-focus regions.

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.


The term comes from the Japanese word boke (暈け or ボケ), which means “blur” or “haze”, or boke-aji (ボケ味), the “blur quality”. The Japanese term boke is also used in the sense of a mental haze or senility.[9] The term bokashi (暈かし) is related, meaning intentional blurring or gradation.

The English spelling bokeh was popularized in 1997 in Photo Techniques magazine, when Mike Johnston, the editor at the time, commissioned three papers on the topic for the March/April 1997 issue; he altered the spelling to suggest the correct pronunciation to English speakers, saying “it is properly pronounced with bo as in bone and ke as in Kenneth, with equal stress on either syllable”.The spellings bokeh and boke have both been in use at least since 1996, when Merklinger had suggested “or Bokeh if you prefer.”The term bokeh has appeared in photography books at least since 1998.It is sometimes pronounced /ˈboʊkə/ (boke-uh).

I will write more in another post on Bokeh and how I like shooting with this in mind, but I leave you with some photos that I took before going out with it and a few on my recent weekend to Belgium.


'Flowers to remember me by'‘Flowers to remember me by’

Home is the hunter‘Home to roost’



Thanks for reading.

This entry was published on June 16, 2013 at 6:00 pm. It’s filed under Architecture, Bokeh, Europe, House and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

One thought on “Shooting wide open and Bokeh

  1. Pingback: One in a series of Bokeh images………the Tyre Factory | Tim Knifton

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