I took this photograph on 37th street near the University of Texas campus. It was during the Drink and Click photowalk that I talked about last week. The theme and contest challenge during the photowalk was “Bokeh”. This photo was going to be my entry — except I got a bit lazy and ran out of time so I’m posting it here.
Bokeh is a word frequently used by photographers, usually mispronounced and the meaning if often misunderstood. First of all, it is pronounced like Bo, sorta like Bo Jackson or Bo Derek, if you prefer. The second part is pronounced like Ke in the name Ken. It’s not Boka or Bokee. This Japanese world, in the context of photography means, the quality of the out of focus area. How good do the circle of lights look? Is the background harsh or smooth? It has nothing to do with depth of field (DOF) where some people call a photograph with a shallow DOF as having good bokeh.
I’m not a bokeh expert per say but from what I know this lens have very nice bokeh. I used the Panasonic Leica 25mm f1.4 (which is a 50mm equivalent) on my Olympus E-PM2. Notice that the out of focus lights are nearly, perfectly circular with a consistent fill. You don’t see a doughnut effect. There is also a smoothness to the light.
You may be interested to know that the worked bokeh, which should be properly spelled boke, is used frequently in Japan but not necessarily in the photographic context. It is used to mean fuzziness or forgetfulness. If one forgets something, they may say they are starting to Boke. Also if you say Boke Boke, that is a code word for senility or Alzheimer’s.
On that note, I like to wish my readers a very Happy Holiday. Thank you for coming back time and time again to read my blog — it means a lot. I have some ideas of where I’m taking this thing next year — some of which you are starting to see. I’m going on a family vacation to the East Coast so I probably won’t be posting here until next year. I will be posting photographs to mostlyfotos, my one photo per day site. Perhaps I may even post some photos from the road so that you can see where I’m visiting.
Have a Happy New Year!