Definition of bokeh, simply gibberish?

Started Mar 6, 2014 | Discussions thread
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tesilab
tesilab Senior Member • Posts: 2,527
Re: Actually it is the "Character"

guitarjeff wrote:

SaltLakeGuy wrote:

of the out of focus components viewable in the frame. Sometimes the elements can have unpleasant characteristics such as not presents as a perfectly out of focus circular subject and instead have octagonal character, which is less pleasing and the results of a non circular aperture blade arrangement. There can be specular highlights which are annoying and also not pleasing. So in he end when someone says it has "Nice Bokeh" one should assume it means that the out of focus portion of the frame presents itself in a smooth not busy but nicely blurred form in which out of focus subject do not have erratic edges but rather are very smooth and others with circular presentation and not angular.

That's all good, but it is still subjective. I may find aspects of the bokeh pleasing and you may not, that means it is subjective and not real. You trying to say that because most people might find something pleasing doesn't mean that it then becomes real. It has to be definable in a concrete way for it to be actually real.

It is not entirely subjective. But there is a subject aspect to it. The problem is that it largely depends on the role the blurred areas play in a photograph. They may strictly be background elements that are are unimportant in themselves. In this case you are looking for very concrete qualities in the blur, so that they will not distract from the subject of the image. However, if the blurred portions of the image play a different role, you may like a particular effect. You might like the rings in your blurred lights if the blurred lights are intended to be prominent. But for another image it would be unwanted prominence that competes with the subject.  So, in general, if the purpose of the blur is to make parts of the image recede into the background and better isolate your unblurred subject you want:

No doubling. No color fringes around highlights.  No aperture shapes (octagons, etc. that make you think "camera"). No hard edges, etc.

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