To Bokeh or Not To Bokeh? That Is the Question.
When I first started practicing my photography with 40 - 50 photos a day (snap, download, examine), with my 50mm 1.8 lens on a Nikon D300, many times I would strive to achieve bokeh--that creamy out of focus background that leaves your subject as the center of attention. Many times I would not be successful.
Often, I would capture small round circles of blurry light.
That's when I did a multitude of research on various lenses, purchased a camera upgrade and began to achieve the objective pretty regularly.
My Favorite Bokeh Lenses
While you can achieve adequate bokeh with just about any prime portrait lens, my favorites are the 135mm and 85mm focal lengths. When you open up your aperture all the way, the resulting bokeh is creamy dreamy.
Here is a cute little Jack Russell Terrier taken with an 85mm lens at f2.8.
The 135mm lens has been suggested to be the queen (or king?) of quality bokeh. The photo below is representative of the 135mm, with an aperture of f2.8.
There really is nothing like good glass to make your job easier, and to give clients wonderful photographs to treasure for years to come. But, in saying that I am not saying you can simply rely on these lenses to get you to a quality photo. Nope. Nope. Nope.
You also have to experiment, practice, know your camera, know when to use one lens over another, think about composition, have appropriate lighting, and tie all that together for a lovely portrait.
I personally love this look, but print comp judges may not. This is a look I create for clients and not for competition. Fall foliage is a great backdrop for exciting bokeh effects, so many of my Fall shots give way to creamy backgrounds.
If you are interested in some great wall art, with creamy bokeh backgrounds, there are other seasons coming up that lend themselves well to this type of photograph, including snow season and spring blooms season. Give me a call to schedule your appointment!
Have a great weekend! Go for a walk and look at the light through the trees. I'll just bet you will find bokeh there!