Definition of bokeh, simply gibberish?

Started Mar 6, 2014 | Discussions thread
OP guitarjeff Senior Member • Posts: 1,165
Re: don't mix bokeh and background blur...

RusYus wrote:

guitarjeff wrote:

RusYus wrote:

guitarjeff wrote:

RusYus wrote:

guitarjeff wrote:

RusYus wrote:

The fact that there is a cake at the wedding reception is measurable and verifiable, whether YOU like the way it looks or tastes is completely up to you.

that's what bokeh is

OOF background is a fact, and can be predicted (measured) before the shot. Bokeh is how pleasant the qualities of that blur appear to the observer.

Whether someone finds the blur "pleasant" is subjective.

That's the point!

saying this is bokeh is the same thing as saying bokeh is subjective,

'this is bokeh' - does not make sense. its just stating a fact, like 'this cake has some taste'.

if you like the taste of the cake you say its a good cake,

Good cake is completely subjective. You are not saying this about bokeh, are you?

Yes i am. bokeh is completely subjective.

because something completely objective has no concrete definition to all which would mean I am right from the start when i said this silly definitition of bokeh is meaningless.

same with bokeh. It is always present, but whether its good or bad - you decide.

That's my entire point. It is not always present, of course, but if there is blur due to dof, that's bokeh,

no, blur isn't bokeh, blur is cake,

great, I'll have some.

but quality of the blur is bokeh.

Then define the parameters of that quality so that we all know we are looking at actual bokeh.

You can't look at actual bokeh. you can only look at blur.

Are you saying that bokeh is completely subjective, then?

there are definitely parameters, look at the picture again (lets just take the bottom two), do you see an sharp edge highlights on one,

Let's cut to the chase. There is ABSOLUTELY no need to show or discus two pictures.  one picture will do for you to show me bokeh is something different than blur.    The definition I object to has ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to do with comparing photos to one another.  Ill play along for the fun of it.

but no such thing on the other?

I won't even look, I can answer it without looking.  If there is one that does, then I can say that blur has sharp edges.  If the other doesn't I then say that blur DOESN't have as sharp of edges.  What's the point of comparing any photos?  Whatever the differences are, they can be explained as qualities of that specific oof focus area (BLUR).

do you see smooth vs. not so smooth transitions in yellow? Notice that AMOUNT of blur is the same on the pictures, so what's the difference then? the difference is 'quality' of that blur.

NOPE, the difference is that one blur has MORE SMOOTHNESS than the other blur.  One has , now get this, try to comprehend, ONE blur has MORE OF THE QUALITY OF SMOOTHNESS THAN THE OTHER.  There is NO NEED to call smoothness bokeh, or any other ASPECT/description of blur.  The blur has more smoothness because the lens has more blades, that's why uh, THE BLUR LOOKS SMOOTHER.  Understand?  The word smoothness describes the phenomenon BETTER than the word bokeh.  There is NO need for the word bokeh, get this, UNLESS YOU MEAN the same thing as blur, which the word BOKEH MEANS in JAPANESE!!!   Get it?  Give me as description of bokeh as a unique thing in the real world that has aspects that ARE NOT aspects of blur.  YOU CAN'T, because blur and bokeh ARE THE SAME thing.

Without those defined parameters, we would be all over the place, bokeh would both exist and not exist at the same time,

It always exist if there is blur, it can be good or bad but its always there.

THAT's RIGHT, you got it, so why not just call it all BLUR, since they are one and the same?  They are the same, uh, unless you can describe aspects of bokeh that cannot be aspects of blur, which you can't, or no one has of yet.  Will you?

and you think that is REAL? How do you have a definition of something that can both be there and not be there at the same time?

It is present only when out of focus areas are present (obviously),

Yep, in other words, no such thing as bokeh without blur, NEVER EVER EVER, just as I said, there is no such thing as bokeh beyond blur. If there is, describe the qualities of the bokeh without simply naming qualities of blur,

there you go! You just said it yourself^^^ quality of blur IS bokeh

Ridiculous.  I said that you cannot show or describe what bokeh is BEYOND what blur is.  When I say qualities of blur, I am clearly talking about REAL aspects, smoothness, roundness, real things, the difference is, YOU CAN'T do the same about any aspects of bokeh that show it to be different in any way than blur.  This was a pathetic attempt at an argument and you should be ashamed at having tried it.

hint, YOU CAN'T. Any description you give of bokeh I can say is nothing more that a description/quality that blur can have.

Again ^^^

Again, you can't be this disingenuous.  It is YOUR SIDE that is claiming that the QUALITY itself is bokeh, I am giving QUALITIES of blur like roundness, smoothness...., I am not claiming that a quality is an actual thing IN ITSELF, truly pathetic on your part here.   You ARE claiming the bokehh IS the quality of blur, without defining ANY of those qualities, you see, I AM defining those qualities (roundness, smoothness).  Did I really just have to explain to you YOUR OWN basic contention?  really.  I'll be nice and do it once more.

YOU are claiming that bokeh is a quality IN AND OF ITSELF, yet you cannot describe any aspects of it that make it something BEYOND just blur.   I am the one who says that bokeh IS ONE AND THE SAME as blur, I am not claiming that it is the quality itself of blur, it IS ACTUAL blur, not a quality of it, it IS it, not a quality of it.   A quality is a description of an aspect, a quality is a TRUTH about a real thing or phenomenon.  There is no THING that is a quality beyond a physical thing or phenomenon.

Even if we take it your way, I am still right, if it is the same thing as blur, then the silly definition of saying it is the quality of blur is meaningless.  The better definition is to simply say IT IS the oof area due to dof in a photo, no need to say it is the quality if it's the same thing as you and I say now, right?  So then you agree with me and the definition being spread around is meaninhless gibberish.

but it is not OOF areas. Back to our example: taste (of the cake that is) is only there when there is cake, but taste isn't the cake.

Right. Taste is not a cake just as "THE quality"

And AGAIN ^^^

And you are now taking this out of context.  The words after it are "is not a real thing".

is not a real thing or phenomenon in the real world. No such thing as a thing that is a QUALITY in and of itself. a quality is, get this, EITHER A DESCRIPTION OF AN ASPECT OF A REAL THING THAT CAN BE DEFINED AND measured, (the chair has the quality of being made of wood), or it is a completely subjective concept, (I find the painting to be a quality example of art, othersmay not.) If you have any other definition of the word "quality", please paste it here


You don't ever say 'this picture has bokeh',

Who doesn't? I do, al the time.

That's your problem you are essentially saying 'this picture has QUALITIES OF background blur'

Nope, I am saying this picture has blur, and it doesn't have to be background.  A photo can have an aspect or quality of something without being that actual think.  Both my couch and my chair could both have the quality of having 90 degree angles in certain spots, does that mean that the couch and the chair are the same thing?  NOPE.    So I am NOT saying the photo has qualities of blur, that could mean it could be something else.  The wood grain on my chair could be blured some, so I could say tha the chair has at least one quality that blur has, they both have blur, but that is NOT the same as saying the chair and the blur are EQUIVALENTS!!

I claim that bokeh HAS no aspects or qualities that are not also qualities of blur.  You claim that bokeh IS the quality of blur.  Blur has MORE than one quality.  But if you want to say they are the same thing, then you agree with me, bokeh IS BLUR, there is NOTHING different about them.  But there is a difference is something having qualities, and being a quality in and of itself.  One is true, the other is never true, there is no such thing as aquality apart from being a description of a real thing.

when you really mean 'this picture has out of focus background'. that is a pretty common mistake people do.

Hilarious.  I have always meant that the picture has blur.  Not sure what you are stuck on the background thing, blur/bokeh can be in front as well.  So, y3ou are FLAT out wrong.  I have never said the pic has QULAITIES of blur.  I say thge PIC HAS BLUR, period.

If I see blur due to the subject focus being a smaller part of the entire frame, I say the photo has bokeh.

Wrong again

No explanation, of course.

as you don't ever say 'this cake has taste'.

Nope, I say this taste good or not, which is completely subjective, meaning there would be NO WAY for me to define for everyone what good tasting cake is.

Same with bokeh. there is no way to define what good bokeh FOR EVERYONE is.

Yeah, so?  I never said there is.

In fact even for myself GOOD is different in different situations.

Great, and this means, uh, what?

For example (going back to the picture attached) if i'd shoot a portrait, i'd use Rokinon lens, because i find its bokeh good for portraits

Yep, nice blur on it I'm sure.  Notice how i use bokeh and blur and can interchange them with no change in the meaning.  That's because they are EXACTLY the same thing.

But if i'd shoot something with Christmas lights on the background i'd go for Zeiss, in that situation i'd like each highlight be distinct and well defined, and Zeiss does in better to my taste.

great, and this has what to do with our debate?

You say 'this picture has OOF back ground' or 'this picture has NICE bokeh' or 'horrible bokeh'.

Nope, many times I don't put a value on it because I feel neither way, i just see it as bokeh, or neutral.

look at the attached picture carefully, do you see the difference in the blur?

You mean bokeh, not really. I see bokeh exist in all of them, I don't value any of them over the other with a quick glance. Wonder where you are heading with this.

guess what - the blur (the amount of it) is THE SAME on all pictures, so if you see any difference - that's the difference in bokeh - quality of blur.

Ridiculous. If ther are REAL DIFFERENCES, then they are definable for all.

you can define qualities (you should be able to see them yourself in the picture),

Of course you can, that's what I have been saying.  What you are missing is that you cannot define any qualities of bokeh that make it ANY DIFFERENT than simple blur.  If it actually is ONLY BLUR, which it is, then there is NO NEED to say it is the quality of blur, you just say, IT IS BLUR.  My entire point was that the definition going around is silly and IMPLIES that blur and bokeh are NOT equivalents.  Saying it "Is the quality" is an obvious, silly attempt to cloud the fact that bokeh IS blur.  Why else would you say "Its' the quality" of blur if it IS actual blur other than to try to imply it is somehow above and beyond blur.

Clearly the definition was an attempt to save the words COOLNESS and artsy concept.   "Is the quality of blur" implies that blur only has ONE quality, and this is also false.  if it means the quality of blur as an entirety, meaning all the aspects of blur, then you are saying IT IS EXACTLY BLUR, and therefor the definition should have said, IT IS BLUR, no need to add the "is the quality of"  So I am right in either case.   Either you are claiming bokeh has some aspects that are different than the aspects of blur, then you are FLAT OUT WRONG because you can't tell me any of those different aspects.  And if you are saying is means it is the same thing as blur in its entirety, then I am right that they are exactly the same and that the definition going around is needless and silly.  Understand?

Any quality perceptions are COMPLETELY subjective, and there would be NOTHING rational about calling THE QUALITY bokeh.

whether its rational or not, that's what it is called. period Taste is subjective, but we still call it taste.

See above.  If it is the same thing as blur, then there was no need to say "it is the quality of".  In this case, the definition is silly.  If you say it is above and beyond blur, then you are wrong because you can't describe for me what the differences are.  Either way, you are wrong.

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