If you are into photography, you must have heard this word. Bokeh. The word actually comes from Japanese and means blur or haze.
In the photography world, the word bokeh is used to define the aesthetic quality of the blur produced in the out-of-focus parts of an image produced by a lens.
So, the lens you use is the main responsible for the quality of the bokeh you get. I myself love the bokeh and try to shoot wide open as much as I can, to get the maximum juice of my lens and camera combo.
There are a few ways to push the bokeh to its maximum. This is the main reason why I am writing this blog post at first place.
Best bokeh recipe:
Rule 1. Use a lens with the best aperture focal length ratio.
How to calculate that? Easy. Your focal length divides the maximum aperture of your lens. The bigger the number the better.
So if you use a 85mm f/1.4 lens 85:1.4 = 60,7 if you use a 300mm f/2.8 lens 300:2.8 = 107 So we can say that the best bokeh will come from a 600mm f/4 lens. 600/4 = 150
Here is a sample photo for the best bokeh lens. A 600mm f4. In this case a Nikon 600mm f4 VR. I also laid on the ground to get more blur on the foreground and used a full format camera to boost the bokeh.
Do you realize how the foreground grass melts away and actually mixes with the background? This is due to using the best bokeh ratio lens, full frame camera, getting low, and shooting when the subject and background has a distance.
Rule 2. Use as large sensor camera as you can.
Use a camera with a large sensor. So either a full frame camera or a medium format camera will give you the better results than a crop factor camera.
So a Nikon d750 will give you a better bokeh than Nikon d7000.
The reason is simple. The bigger the sensor, the wider the frame. S o, this will let you come closer to your subject. This actually is related to rule 3.
Rule 3. Get close.
Get as close as you can to your subject. The closer you are to your subject the more blur you will get.
Rule 4. Get low.
When you get low while shooting, all the obstacles you have in between in the foreground will melt away. Making the image look more blurry. Shot with Nikon 300mm f/2.8 vr
Rule 5. Your subjects distance from the background should be as far as possible.
So if you have the control of your subject, find a spot where the distance of your subject to the background is as far as possible.
So let's say you are shooting a model and your background is a wall. Ask your subject to move closer to you leaving as much as distance from the wall she can.
If you don't have the control of your subject. Let's say you are shooting a bird on the forest floor. Wait till your subject is on a spot where the distance of the bird to the background as far as possible.
Rule 6. Choose the background if you can. Sometimes you can choose where the shooting will take place. I found that, a narrow street is the best place for better bokeh results.
Take a look at this image of a model. You see the cars melting away slowly. That makes the blur more efficient in the image and helps to create a more 3d look. Shot with Nikon 200mm f/2 vr
Rule 7. Lean on a wall.
Sometimes leaning on a wall will boost your bokeh. The foreground will melt away, as well as the background. Shot with Nikon 200mm f/2 vr
Rule 8. Use less contrast setting in your camera.
I noticed that standard picture setting in a DSLRhas more contrast than the setting neutral or flat. So the lesser contrast will result in softer bokeh.
Rule 9: Go long.
Use the longest focal length possible. Because the longer the focal length, the closer the background. As the background is bigger in your image, it will also look less crowded.
10. Use soft light.
As the harsh light creates extra contrast, your bokeh will look less pleasing.
If you are interested, you can also watch the youtube video about this blog post.