Nardio Picture of the Day
the visual quality of the out-of-focus areas of a photographic image, especially as rendered by a particular lens.
Ages ago when we started taking pictures at events or even when we were out and about we had trouble having our subject stand out from the backgrounds. It was frustrating to always have visual clutter in our shots. We wanted to blur out the distractions and just focus on our subjects. We learned about depth of field and lenses that give the photographer the ability to focus only on what they want to tell the story.
As time went on we got better gear and started to learn the basics of depth of field, framing our shots, lighting and bokeh. It was a fun and often time frustrating process, but it has also been a very rewarding one as well.
The picture above is a great example of focusing only on what we want and blurring out the rest of the distractions.
After a while we started to get better at composing shots and we discovered that we could go even further down the bokeh hole. We discovered interesting pictures online that highlighted people using old and weird lenses meant to blur the backgrounds images in cool and unique ways. Doing post processing that made the pics look insane and yet beautiful. Of course we practiced this ourselves.
The more shots like this that we found, the more intrigued we became. Best of all these lenses, for the most part, were relatively affordable. Sure, there are crazy outliers that cost and arm and a leg and way, way more than our new cameras, but we found we didn’t need those. (We still want them)
Just got some “new” old toys for our #Sony #a6500 cameras. Used old #canon #50mm & #vivitar #135mm lenses off of eBay. Both are crazy sharp. All in all about $110. Hundreds less than if we bought new lenses. Not the fanciest or best, but with practice we can make them work. We cannot wait to practice with these. #photography #used #ebay #CameraGear
Sure some of the fancy shmancy lenses allow you to get crazy blurred backgrounds and tack sharp focal points. With those lenses you get your cake and eat it too. By that I mean you get that shallow depth of field, the beautiful bokeh and also crazy sharpness that just looks magnificent. Getting that balance is much harder with a cheaper lens. it’s doable, but it’s harder. Check out the examples below:
Notice in the two shots above how they both seem a bit washed out. The second photo suffers from this much worse than the first thanks to all the high contrast areas, but you can see an almost white film or haze. This is a problem with cheaper lenses. That said, this can probably be cleaned up in post some. That said, that said, when taking lots of pictures the goal is to get it right the first time so you spend less time in post. That is why professional photographers drop serious cash on great lenses. It’s doable, you can get those shots, but it takes more time and not as often. That said, when you do nail those shots, it feels really rewarding. The image on the top of the page is one of my fave shots I’ve taken. It was done on a manual lens. Granted, I missed focus on a ton of shots at that event, but o wow, do I appreciate the heck out of the shots that came out perfectly.
All that said, I still love the two shots above.
That isn’t to say you can’t make use of the interesting look from cheaper lenses. Check out these shots I got using said cheaper lenses:
Sharing a few of my fave pictures from today. Both taken at Christopher Park in the West Village. The first one is using a Minolta 40mm lens and the second is a Canon 50mm. Both were on my Sony a6500. I always loved flowers and bees. Something about photographing them is relaxing and fun. #Photography #naturephotography #newyorkcity #Sony #Bee #a6500 #WestVillage #40mm #50mm #canon #minolta #Practice #bokeh #manual #NatualLight #natureinnewyorkcity
We do plan on getting those fancy lenses in the future for portrait work and event coverage in the future. They look amazing and help make the photos taken with them look super crisp and professional. You just get the pro shots more often and with less effort. For now we are focused on (obsessed with) mastering our lenses and having fun taking bokeh crazy photos.
This is the first in a series of Bokeh Debauchery posts that show focus on shallow depth of field, crazy bokeh and some post processing fun. I hope you enjoyed these shots!
Camera: Sony a6500
Neewer 35mm f/1.7 manual focus prime fixed lens
Canon 50mm f/1.4
Minolta 40mm f/1.8