2016 PHOTOCHALLENGE, WEEK 48: BOKEH – GUEST CHALLENGE

I’ve been wanting to try a Bokeh Challenge since I first saw a holiday picture featuring this technique.

Christmas//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

…and what a more perfect time to try it, than with the holidays coming up? Since one of the many ways to achieve Bokeh is using Christmas lighting.

Bokeh “is the aesthetic quality of the blur produced in the out-of-focus parts of an image produced by a lens” as per Wikipedia.

In this challenge, we will be focusing on creating bokeh using light. Either natural sunlight or artificial light. Not just creating a blurred background.

This technique can be used as a backdrop for still life, portraits and nature. It can be incorporated into the picture itself, landscapes and street photography. There should be something for everyone.

When I looked up Bokeh on Pinterest (my favorite site), there was such a variety of bokeh photographs as well as tutorials.

Bokeh Photography Tutorial: 3 Ways to Get Started

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If you want to push the boundaries of creativity in your Bokeh Photography, I highly suggest you checkout this project (Christmas Wonders) by Eugenia Evoyan on Bèhance

Christmas wonders
Bokeh effect
This Christmas was full of beauty all around, love and happiness. Being inspired by all that atmosphere of the Christmas, lights, I’ve made this series to memorize and keep that warmth of Christmas all year round.

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Sunlight in nature is a catalyst for Bokeh Photography.

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Bokeh is not just limited to color, B&W images portray their own unique style.

 

I look forward to seeing everyone’s interpretation using this technique.

Guest Challenge by: Amy Orchard

 

The rules are pretty simple:

  • Post one original photograph (Your Image) shot each week per theme posted on this blog to Google+Facebook, or Flickr (or all three). Tag the photo #photochallenge and #photochallenge2016
  • The shot should be a new shot you took for the current weekly theme, not something from your back catalog or someone else’s image.
  • The posted image should not be a Video.
  • Don’t leave home without your camera. Participating in the 2016 PhotoChallenge is fun and easy.

2016 PHOTOCHALLENGE, WEEK 10: OUTDOOR – Brenizer Method

Most of you are probably wondering what the “BRENIZER METHOD” is… It’s simple, it’s a technique by which you simulate the look of an image captured on a larger format camera by taking many pictures with your smaller format camera. The technique was pioneered by New York Wedding Photographer, Ryan Brenizer.
Steven & Cyndi | The Long And Winding Road//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

Wikipedia defines it as : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brenizer_Method (Please Read)

“The Brenizer Method is a photographic technique popularized by photographer Ryan Brenizer. It is characterized by the creation of a digital image exhibiting a shallow depth of field in tandem with a wide angle of view by use of panoramic stitching techniques applied to portraiture. The combination of these characteristics enables a photographer to mimic the look of large format film photography with a digital camera. Large format cameras use a negative that is at least 4×5 inches (102×127 mm) and are known for their very shallow depth of field when using a wide aperture and their unique high level of clarity, contrast and control. Image sensor formats of common digital cameras, in comparison, are much smaller, ranging down to the tiny sensors in camera phones. The Brenizer method increases the effective sensor size of the camera, simulating the characteristics of large format photography.”

It may sound difficult, but it’s barely slightly more work than creating a stitched panorama. In fact it’s often referred to as the “BOKEH PANORAMA

There’s even a FLICKR GROUP dedicated to images captured using the BRENIZER METHOD : https://www.flickr.com/groups/1121852@N21/ 

It’s not only filled with tons of examples, there’s a discussion thread that should answer most of your questions.

Kelsy '11 | In Focus//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

Here are a few tips to capture your image:

  • I haven’t done this in a long time but I suggest using a 50mm/85mm on a crop factor or a 85mm/105mm on a Full Frame.
  • I definitely recommend using a tripod at first. It’s not 100% necessary but it helps.
  • Set your camera to manual focus. (You can acquire your subject with AUTO-FOCUS but once your subject is in focus, switch your camera/lens to manual focus)
  • Set your white balance manually. This will prevent inconsistencies that can sometimes occur with automatic white-balance.
  • Set your exposure to manual. This will make sure your scene is equally exposed throughout every frame.
  • Open your aperture to maximize the BOKEH effect of out of focus areas. Use the shallowest depth of field possible for your subject.
  • It’s a good idea to apply lens correction prior to stitching the images to reduce mismatching due to distortion.

M6

Some shoot using a circular motion starting from the center, clockwise and expanding out at every turn. I find that confusing and hard to relate and overlap your images in post processing. I use an horizontal motion from the top left, shooting to the right and overlapping images. Like a typewriter, I lower the angle and start again from left to right until I have reached the bottom right corner of my scene.

POST PROCESSING (STITCHING)

You will need to stitch your images. If they are JPEG images your camera may already have applied lens correction. If you shoot raw, I recommend applying lens correction and the same identical basic processing steps for every image prior to stitching. You can complete your post processing of the image once the stitching is successful.

To stitch your images you can use Photoshop (maybe even lightroom now). There’s a free Panorama Image Stitcher for Linux, Mac and Windows called HUGIN. Windows users can also download and use for free the Microsoft Composite Image Editor (ICE)

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In order to complete your challenge you will have to shoot OUTDOORS. Your subject can be anything or anyone. Try and have your subject relatively close to you compared to surrounding objects. This will maximize the effect keeping your subject crisper in comparison to the out of focus environment of your scene. You probably will have to practice a few times before you shoot your final image.

 

The rules are pretty simple:

  • Post one original photograph (Your Image) shot each week per theme posted on this blog to Google+Facebook, or Flickr (or all three). Tag the photo #photochallenge.org or #photochallenge2016.
  • The shot should be a new shot you took for the current weekly theme, not something from your back catalog or someone else’s image.
  • The posted image should be a photograph, not a video.
  • Don’t leave home without your camera. Participating in the 2016 PhotoChallenge is fun and easy.

EXTERNAL LINKS

DIGITAL PHOTOGRAPHY SCHOOL – http://digital-photography-school.com/5-steps-to-rock-the-brenizer-method/

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2013 Challenge, Week 51: Bokeh

Last week we got to focus on light and try out light painting. This week we’ll feature light and the effects of the aperture, but the emphasis will be on the out-of-focus area of the picture. This week’s theme is Bokeh.

Bokeh is a Japanese word that refers to the blur-quality of a lens or photograph. It’s most noticeable in night shots where lights are out-of-focus, but any shot with a short depth-of-field will have areas where you see the bokeh, especially if light is coming through the background.

“Bokeh Overlord” by Patrik B

Bokeh doesn’t just refer to blur, it’s the quality of the blur, and that quality changes from lens to lens. There are plenty of examples of bokeh around the Internet. If you want to learn a little more about it, Nikon has a good article with nice examples. And there’s always Wikipedia.

“Bokeh Effect” by Andrew Abogado

One of the reasons I choose Bokeh as the theme for this week is because there are plenty of Christmas lights around at night to use as subjects.  You can start indoors…

“Bokeh Ninja” by Nick Harris

Then move outside.

“bokeh” by Janne Hellsten
“Bokeh Season” by Alejandro C

If you do choose to shoot at night, be sure to grab a tripod. During the day you can get great bokeh shots without a tripod, but at night with the slow shutter speeds, a tripod is essential.

You can even get creative and create custom bokehs with stencils. The shape of the aperture is what determines the bokeh shape, so if you put a stencil on your lens, your bokeh with be the same shape. This example uses a heart shaped stencil and results in a heart shaped bokeh.

“Shaped Bokeh Test” by Gianmaria Veronese

As an extra challenge, see if you can come up with a custom bokeh by creating your own stencils. If you’re not the DIY type, Bokeh Masters has few kits available. With Christmas this week, you might not be able to get one shipped in time for this week’s challenge, but it would be a good investment for future use.

As always, post your shots on Facebook, Google+, or Flickr. Happy shooting!

2009 Challenge, Day 346: HOLIDAY BOKEH

Today is Saturday, December 13th, 2009. Today’s theme for the 2009 Challenge is HOLIDAY BOKEH.

"custom bokeh - i love christmas", by Adam Foster | Codefor

By now, most who are celebrating this holiday season have already decorated their homes. If you’re celebrating, spend some time today considering the best subject for today’s challenge. Capturing the best looking bokeh isn’t just about capturing lights out of focus. Here’s a decent tutorial, to lend you a hand. If you’re into DIY projects, then give this one a try too!

"Starbucks' Christmas Bokeh", by pierofix

Once you’re ready to submit your work to Flickr, you’ve got to do two important things. First, make sure you tag your photos correctly; “2009challenge″ and “2009challenge346“. Also, if you haven’t already, join the PhotoChallenge group on Flickr. Then, submit each day’s photo to the group’s pool.

"Bokeh of a Menorah", by netman007 (Andre` Cutajar)

To see all of the shots for today’s challenge, click here:

http://www.flickr.com/search/?ss=2&w=all&q=2009Challenge346&m=tags

2009 Challenge, Day 253: FOREGROUND BOKEH

Today is Thursday, September 10, 2009. Today’s theme for the 2009 Challenge is FOREGROUND BOKEH.

Floating by sea turtle
"Floating" by sea turtle

Bokeh is the pleasing out of focus effect caused by shooting a scene with a wide aperture. Often we think of bokeh as an effect that causes the background to be blurry. However, for today’s challenge, try to reverse that effect so that the foreground of your image has the bokeh. To do this, set your aperture wide, and focus on something in the distance. It might take a few tries, but have fun with it and don’t give up!

Bubbles by Andrew Stawarz
"Bubbles" by Andrew Stawarz

Once you’re ready to submit your work to Flickr, you’ve got to do two important things. First, make sure you tag your photos correctly; “2009challenge″ and “2009challenge253“. Also, if you haven’t already, join the PhotoChallenge group on Flickr. Then, submit each day’s photo to the group’s pool.

brittneys channukah par-tay by striatic
"brittney's channukah par-tay" by striatic

To see all of the shots for today’s challenge, click here:

http://www.flickr.com/search/?ss=2&w=all&q=2009Challenge253&m=tags

2009 Challenge, Day 178: BOKEH

Today is Saturday, June 27, 2009. Today’s theme for the 2009 Challenge is BOKEH.

Ferris wheel at night by kevindooley
"Ferris wheel at night" by kevindooley

Bokeh is the pleasant out of focus effect caused by shooting with a wide aperture. As your aperture increases, the depth of field decreases. If you open the lens wide and focus on something in the foreground, the background will be out of focus in a distinct pattern. Depending on the way the lens is made, lights may appear as fuzzy globes or fuzzy pentagons. You can even shape the bokeh by placing a cut out shape directly in front of the lens.

Today’s challenge may give you the chance to learn something new about your camera, or to experiment with shooting with a large aperture. Let’s see what you can do with what you’ve got!

hbw | happy (custom) bokeh wednesday by Adam Foster | Codefor
"hbw | happy (custom) bokeh wednesday" by Adam Foster | Codefor

Once you’re ready to submit your work to Flickr, you’ve got to do two important things. First, make sure you tag your photos correctly; “2009challenge″ and “2009challenge178“. Also, if you haven’t already, join the PhotoChallenge group on Flickr. Then, submit each day’s photo to the group’s pool.

bokehpalooza by Robert S. Donovan
"bokehpalooza" by Robert S. Donovan

To see all of the shots for today’s challenge, click here:

http://www.flickr.com/search/?ss=2&w=all&q=2009Challenge178&m=tags