Photography Tips from a Pro about "Bokeh"

Have you ever noticed how photographers like me blur out the background in their photos? If you look through the gallery photos on my page or on my Instagram page, you’ll notice most of the backgrounds are pretty blurry.

That’s intentional. I do it so that my subject stands out.

That blurry part of the photo actually has a name. It’s called “bokeh.” According to Merriam-Webster’s online, it’s pronounced “bōˈkā” with both vowels being long vowels. I’ve heard it pronounced a lot of different ways so honestly I’m not sure what’s correct! How’s that for a photography tip from a pro? ha

The definition of bokeh is “the visual quality of the out-of-focus areas of a photographic image, especially as rendered by a particular lens.” So bokeh isn’t actually the blurry part of the background itself, it’s the quality of the blurry part.

If you’ve followed me for long, you know that I say often that photography is hard because it’s complicated. It seems the answer or definition of something is never simple. This is another example of that.

Bokeh is determined by several factors but the lens I use plays a huge part in the type of bokeh I get in my photos. I will also say that the light and the direction of the light are major factors in the type of bokeh I’ll get.

I know I complain about the trees where I live blocking my light but they do produce some nice bokeh.

This is a blog circle. To see what the next photographer has to say about bokeh and see their photos for the week, click here: Pawparazzi Pet and Animal Photography presented by Shae Pepper Photography. Click the link at the bottom of each post and you’ll end up right back here when you’ve gone through the circle.