focus52|2012 {week fifty} december 9 to 15

And there it is, 52’rs! Our week number rolling over to the big 5-0. It’s crazy how fast our time together has flown by. Our project will wrap up soon, and for many of us this is such a busy time of year. I urge you, no matter how busy you are, to make the time to continue to pick up your camera and document these special days. For three years now, I’ve taken a photo a day for the month of December and after all of the excitement, hectic days, and yes – stress! has died down, I am always every so grateful to have the photographic memories. So stick with it. You’ll thank yourself.

This week, our focus52 prompt is …

I photographed the above image last year by simply laying a string of lights on my hardwood floor (that’s where the slight reflection comes from), setting my camera (and myself!) down on the ground and switching my lens to manual focus, turning the focus ring until I achieved a blur I was happy with. My camera settings were f1.4  –  1/400  –  ISO-200 to try to darken everything but the lights, but you can play around with your settings until you find a combination you’re happy with in the setting you find yourself in.

Now that’s one way to play with bokeh. Typically though, our bokeh occurs when photographing a crisp subject in the foreground and achieving a beautiful bokeh in the background.

There are a lot of different ways to capture images filled with bokeh. Although a good lens does make it a helluva lot easier, it is NOT a necessity. Any lens can capture bokeh. If you have a lens that doesn’t have a large aperture (f-stop), try placing your subject further away from your background to get some great depth of field and pleasing background blur.

Or you can try simply throwing your lens a bit out of focus like I did in that first photo :)

Another simple bokeh trick? Tinfoil. Crumple it up and then flatten it out slightly. Attach it to a piece of cardboard (or tape it to the wall!), throw a bit of light on it, and use it as your bling’d out bokeh background. Here’s a cool example from April Newman (hi April!)

Just play around and have fun!

Here’s a few great articles I came across …

  • Nasim Mansurov has an excellent article all about bokeh here and then he goes a step further, explaining how to get bokeh with a point ‘n shoot (yes there are limitations, but it’s still do-able).
  • Muse Alumni, Tammy Lee Bradley, has a few pointers over at Mortal Muses, right here.
  • And there’s a great tongue-in-cheek article over at Gizmodo, complete with examples and camera settings. Fun stuff.

Although I hope you have a bit of bokeh fun this week, no matter what you decide to do for our week fifty, please come back here and share your work with us when you’re done (weeks run Sunday to Saturday, don’t forget!). Links must be to the direct URL of your actual work, not just to the site it’s posted in, and may be a link to your blog post or to your flickr photo (again, the actual photo, not your entire flickr stream). It’s a fact that those who link up early, get the most interaction on their work, so get the photos in!  Also, please don’t link and run – try to find some time to visit at least a few of your fellow 52’ers. That’s half the fun!  And don’t forget the focus52 flickr pool.

Have a bokeh-filled week, 52’rs!

psssttt… looking for last week’s link up? click here

  • Laura Scarborough
    Posted at 01:17h, 15 December Reply

    I got a sweet new camera this week and I spent the week setting up and trying to capture my own bokeh but today, I just could not write about it. Some of the shots are up in the Flickr group but I just could not post them and write about them on my blog. Not today. Still, I appreciate your weekly prompts and want to share.

    • janice
      Posted at 02:06h, 16 December Reply

      Loved your post, Laura.
      I’m with you on every single word.

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