Bokeh Photography

If you’re new to photography, you’ve probably learned about the concept called “bokeh” just recently. It is originally Japanese and applies to blur or blurred quality, and is a very familiar technique in photography. First, let’s understand the essential distinctions between soft focus and bokeh. There is a deliberate blurriness applied to the object of soft-focus imagery while the individual outlines are held in sharp focus, but in bokeh, it is only an aspect of the picture which is deliberately blurred. Also, bokeh often helps to highlight some light points in the image.

Why is bokeh appealing to most of the photographers?

Bokeh seems to appear outside the focal region in the areas of a photo. Because of this, a shallow depth of field given by a large open aperture is the most popular technique used to accomplish this.

Because of its visually pleasing characteristics, most photographers prefer bokeh. Not only does it provide a blurred background that draws attention to the subject, but it also produces images that look dreamy, eye-catching, and even ethereal.

To create an image with what is regarded as “nice” bokeh, the photographer or photobooth must first identify a subject that can be conveniently shot at near or short focal lengths.

Many photographers contend that bokeh is just about the quality of circular light reflections, and many others, agree that bokeh is about the performance of the whole out-of-focus region, not just reflections and highlights.

Two types of Bokeh- Good and Bad!

The lens makes bokeh, not the camera. Because of special optical features, various lenses make bokeh differently. Portrait or telephoto lenses with large maximum apertures usually produce more pleasant-looking bokeh than inexpensive zoom lenses for customers. E.g., the Nikon 85 mmf/1.4D lens produces extraordinarily beautiful bokeh, whereas the Nikon 18-135 mm f/3.5-5.6 G DX lens produces bad bokeh at the same focal length and aperture, mostly due to differences in both lenses’ optical design.

A great bokeh pleases our eyes and our object vision, so the ambient blur must look soft and “creamy,” with perfect circles of light and no hard edges.

How to get a Good Bokeh?

Bokeh depends on the lens type you have. Although lower-end consumer zoom lenses yield unnatural bokeh, fixed (prime) lenses and most advanced zoom lenses yield greater-looking bokeh with fast apertures. Would you know if there’s better bokeh in your lens? Consider this: concentrate on an object from a very close distance (as similar as the lens enables, holding the target in view), make sure that at least 5-6 inches behind it, there are no artifacts. Make sure you’re on the same floor as the artifact itself, so you don’t look down at it. Do not use a blank wall as your background – try to find a vibrant background with a few lights on it ideally.

The lowest aperture on most standard zoom lenses is usually f/3.5, although it can be between f/1.2 and f/2.8 on prime or specialist zoom lenses. Take a picture of your subject once the aperture is adjusted to the lowest value and take a look at your camera’s rear LCD. While the context is blurry, the subject should be in view.

Set your camera to AV MODE:

Since your main concern for bokeh is to hold the aperture wide, setting your camera to AV mode (also known as Aperture Priority) is only logical. This convenient feature helps you to pick the aperture and adjust the shutter speed for you automatically. You don’t have to estimate your exposure in AV mode or lose valuable time fiddling with buttons. When the aperture is adjusted, clicking the shutter is all you need to think about.

Don’t neglect the foreground!

Search for pleasing colors and shapes to fill the foreground. The shallow depth of field refers to both the backdrop and the foreground while dealing with large apertures. When you change the emphasis in the center on your subject, it would be blurry. Reflective surfaces like windows create good bokeh in the foreground. The lights that shine on windows fill the subject’s negative space quickly. Nonetheless, you need to experiment with different angles while filming with windows to avoid unwanted reflections.


The result you get may not be as spectacular as good lenses, but it teaches you how the concept works effectively. Attaining bokeh is a lot simpler than what other people think. Don’t overthink about this effect’s technical aspects. You can easily create images of mesmerizing backgrounds as long as you have a lens that allows you to control the DOF.


Ballistic Photography (High-Speed Photography)

Photography’s essence lies in capturing the right moment. Often life will move quickly, disappearing in a blink,  and we can love capturing images and holding them for future reminiscence.

But what about the times that goes far too quickly for us to record? Moments we can’t photograph with a standard, point-and-shoot Camera or even see with the naked eye? If you were trying to capture a bullet whizzing by you’d probably get away with nothing but the backdrop.

What is Ballistic Photography?

Ballistics Photography relates to the photography discipline associated with taking photographs of bullets that are shot from a weapon and bullets that hit their objectives. The techniques related to taking ballistic-related images are identical to those used for any other high-speed photography subject such as photos of splashing liquids or balloons.

An unarmed Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile launches during an operational test Sept. 5, 2016, at Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif. (U.S. Air Force photo/Michael Peterson)

Ballistics photography, like any other specialized area of photography, needs a specific collection of equipment. A photographer may also need a cable release and a trigger in addition to a high-speed flash to match the Camera with the event. The trigger perhaps the most critical piece of equipment enables the device to film based on either the noise or light produced from the high-speed event

While a gunshot from a weapon will have a trigger that is programmed to go off depending on the sound of the firearm being fired, if it tries to catch a bolt of lightning, the trigger will be configured to be light-sensitive.

How ballistic photography works?

People took photos of a bullet from one side of an apple, with the apple core already about to burst, and the bullet looking as transparent as if you were keeping it in your pocket. Nature magazines also show photos of frozen birds in the centre of the snow, and you can count on their wings the number of feathers. There are also countless photos of water balloons popping up, smashing wine glasses and just striking the floor with water droplets— stuff you couldn’t see regardless of how hard you are straining. The question is, how are they doing this?

High-speed photography captures these forms of fast-moving objects, capturing events that are typically invisible to the human eye. To analyze physical movement, scientists use high-speed photographs to calculate forces such as surface tension and gravitational effects. The military takes high-speed images to check the precision of missiles and rockets, and at the very heart of nuclear explosions, it is even possible to record what is happening. Often, sports photographers utilize high-speed photography to film fast-moving sporting events such as NASCAR, bike racing and horse racing.

Essential factors for high-speed photography:

It is necessary to first go over the principles of photography and what makes a camera work to understand the nuances of high-speed photography. Below are some factors that you need to consider:

  1. The lens of the Camera:

The most important is the amount of light that is entering through the lens. And how long is the film exposed to the light. The lens is responsible for all these factors, as it redirects the incoming light to form the real image.

  1. Aperture:

The second factor is the aperture. The aperture is responsible for expanding or shrinking the size, and it also controls the amount of light that comes onto the film. The aperture makes the circle bigger when you let in more light and when you want to block out some light, it will make the circle smaller.

  1. Shutter or Shutter Speed:

How long the light is exposed to the film is known as the shutter. It works like a curtain that opens up when the light needs to be exposed to the film and closes when the action is not required. And the other thing is the shutter speed, which determines that how fast the shutter will open or close.


On which factor does the success of high-speed photography depend?

High-speed photography’s success depends primarily on how fast the image is exposed to light. High-speed photographers thus tend to rely on flash units to capture utilizing extremely short flash durations— the smaller the light burst, the better. Just because of that, in total darkness, most high-speed objects were captured.

High-speed photographers rely on luck just as much as a close organization to get that perfect shot, even with very detailed planning. It can take more than a hundred shots to record a perfectly shaped drop of water over several excruciating hours. Though, for some, the chance to stop time and see something that no one has ever seen before outweighs the time spent.