LAPC #194: Bokeh

“Bokeh” is an English word that is a translation of the Japanese word “暈け” or “ボケ” that means: blur—specifically out-of-focus blur. 

Todd Vorenkamp, B & H Photo

When I heard that Sofia selected “Bokeh” for her challenge, I decided to experiment with out-of-focus blur. (Click on each image to see the photo in more detail.)

Here’s one of my first experiments in Beacon Hill, known for over a century as the home of the Boston elite. Here you can see the famous brick mansions beyond the wrought iron fence.

I discovered this beautiful shell near the shore on Cape Cod. I wondered if the sparkling water in the background and the rocks would give the viewer a sense of place and a feeling of tranquility.

This example of pressed glass comes from the Sandwich Glass Museum on Cape Cod. I love the color–a combination of orange and gold. The goblet is set in a window with a view of Main Street.

A few days before we left Boston, I spotted this adorable little girl taking a “ride” on the famous “Make Way for Ducklings” statue in Boston Commons. (You know how much I love that statue.) Her delight was irresistible. In the background, you can see the park and the rest of Mamma Duck’s brood.

Many thanks to Sofia for giving us a chance to explore bokeh. We hope you join her marvelous challenge this week. I’m excited about this technique which can add beauty and light to my images and can help draw the viewer’s eye to the subject. I’m still experimenting to see when bokeh is effective and when it’s distracting. In these 4 photos do you think the bokeh is effective? I’m curious to hear what you think!

We had a lot to celebrate last week thanks to John’s theme and your wonderful photos and memories! More than ever, I savor these joyful moments with dear friends and family that mark important events–like Rich’s special birthday dinner we ate a few nights ago with a dear friend. That night joins my “archive” of treasured memories.

We invite you to join us for this challenge. Please link to Sofia’s post and use the Lens-Artists tag so we can easily find you. Her examples of bokeh are wonderful, so be sure to visit her site.

If you’re new to LAPC, click here to find out more.

Next week, it’s Anne Sandler’s turn to lead us for LAPC #195, so be sure to visit her site. Until then, have a safe and inspired week!

63 replies »

  1. Wonderful examples, Patti. Regarding the little girl, aren’t those animals, regardless the species, always an invitation for kids to ride? I know, there’s an image in my parents photo album showing me riding on a bronze deer.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi, Andre. Yes, it’s true! They are a “magnet” for little kids. I used to love to ride my rocking horse for the same reason. You were riding a bronze deer. That must be a great memory. Thanks too for your kind words on my experiments. 😀

      Liked by 1 person

    • Hi, Beth. I rarely ask people if I can take their photo but this time I did. I thought she had the most wonderful smile. I’m so glad you enjoyed her photo, too. 😀😀. Have a great week.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks so much! I had fun experimenting. I’m definitely going to do more with bokeh. I really like this technique. Isn’t that little girl great?? She is adorable. The glass museum was interesting. Some of the colored glass had very vivid shades. Have a great week, too.


  2. That goblet (is it orange or gold?) is probably my favorite image of your collection, Patti. I have to note, though, that I stared at some length at your opening photo just enjoying the composition and the mystery hiding behind that bokeh.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, John! That glimpse of “old money” in the first photo is a bit of Boston history. It’s still a wealthy area, but many of the mansions were turned into condos–with high price tags! Glad you liked the goblet, too. I’m not sure what color it is either! Orangy gold??

      Liked by 1 person

    • Hi, Sarah. I’m delighted you like my eclectic collection. 😀😀. The shell and the railing. I like how the blur in the background gives the viewer a hint of what lies beyond. I’m going to experiment so more. Thanks for your feedback! It’s always valuable.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. What a lovely selection of images, by far the most enchanting is the girl and the ducks! I always considered bokeh to mean the more obvious light reflections creating the orbs in the background (or foreground), but I am happy to go along with blurry backgrounds!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Great bokeh examples Patti! The pressed glass is my favorite image. I think bokeh always enhances an image. However, if the image is all soft then it would be considered out of focus unless the photographer had a creative reason. Them it should be labeled as such.

    Liked by 1 person

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