Artistic: Bokeh A shallow depth of field is often used to isolate the subject. Create an artistic interpretation using shallow depth of field.
Bokeh is a lovely technique. Part of it has to do with immediate focus on the subject and a blurred background; the other part is the use of blurred light or reflection of light and composing your photograph for the most pleasing placement of it. Bokeh is a Japanese word that means ‘blur’ and the technique is almost Taoist in its simple complexity of make-up.
You need a really shallow depth of field to pull this off. F1.2 is ideal, but my lowest F-stop is 3.5. It just means I can’t get quite so close to my subject. You want to be as close as you can be to your subject and remain in focus, which is the key to creating the blurred background. Also, it means that my light points need to be further away from my subject to blur properly. The closer you can get to the subject, the closer the light points can be.
A Christmas Tree is the perfect place to practise. And I love playing with light.
I tried several different takes on this deer – in all I think I took about 15 photographs of it – each version is a different angle, a different configuration of settings. In the end, I narrowed it down to four and finally chose this one. It makes me happy to look at it and the more I look, the more I see.
Mid-Winter is past but there are still weeks of darkness to endure. I hope my deer of light helps brighten your late Winter days.
Happy New Year to all of you.