"Bokeh" overrated? I think so!

Started Jun 18, 2013 | Discussions thread
ForumParentFirstPreviousNextNext unread
Flat view
HowardChernin
Regular MemberPosts: 140Gear list
Like?
"Bokeh" overrated? I think so!
Jun 18, 2013

I'll admit, I take my fair share of photos with intentionally blurred foreground and/or background elements, but I still think this "bokeh" craze is out of hand. I keep seeing phrases like "creamy bokeh", "dreamy bokeh" and the like floating around these fora, as if the key to a great photo is having only one element in sufficient focus to make out what it is. To me, that's a shame, because half the fun of photography (to me, at least) is drawing attention to a subject within the context of its surrounding. I'm clearly not the second coming of Ansel Adams, but it seems to me that if all that mattered was having a melted watercolor background for every photo that one took, nobody would ever leave the comfort of their studio and their blurry backdrops. Composition and lighting are much more important for great photography than is achieving a certain amount of blur. For instance, a fast 50 won't neutralize ugly shadows on your subject's face that could have been avoided by composing differently or using an off-camera light source. Heck, you might wish more of your photo was in focus to draw attention away from poor lighting, in that case

I'm not saying that "pleasing bokeh" doesn't have its place in photography, it certainly does, but for amateurs (like myself), I think it pays to take hundreds, if not thousands, of photos before investing in a fast prime or zoom.

Your thoughts?

 HowardChernin's gear list:HowardChernin's gear list
Nikon D3100 Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 55-200mm f/4-5.6G VR Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR Sigma 10-20mm F3.5 EX DC HSM Nikon AF-S Nikkor 50mm f/1.8G +4 more
ForumParentFirstPreviousNextNext unread
Flat view
Post (hide subjects)Posted by
(unknown member)
(unknown member)
(unknown member)
(unknown member)
(unknown member)
(unknown member)
(unknown member)
(unknown member)
(unknown member)
(unknown member)
ForumParentFirstPreviousNextNext unread
Keyboard shortcuts:
FForum PPrevious NNext WNext unread UUpvote SSubscribe RReply QQuote BBookmark post MMy threads
Color scheme? Blue / Yellow