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Thread: Boken in portrait is unwanted.

  1. #41

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    Hmm...somehow I think bokeh in streetshooter's first shot isn't entirely pleasing and one cannot make a fair assessment of the 2nd shot.

  2. #42

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zplus
    2100, I think its more of the composition that causes the 'client' to think that way. Its not the shallow dof or bokeh per se that made her think that way. She does look familiar though.
    Maybe. Some people are less critical about absolute framing and care more about background, some look for bokeh, some on lighting on the background. I not pro, so all cannot be good at the same time.

    Even when i look at all the big prints taken by wedding photogs, i have a problem of scrutinising for details like sharpness or focusing point (some pics have backfocus!). The ones which i don't like may be the ones which my wife likes, sometimes its different strokes for different folks. I think another pt which i failed in is enough communication with the model.

  3. #43

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zerstorer
    Hmm...somehow I think bokeh in streetshooter's first shot isn't entirely pleasing and one cannot make a fair assessment of the 2nd shot.
    That's because there was a bit too much sharpening applied.

    Using words to describe a visual quality is difficult, but let me try:

    The background is "creamy" as ST1100 said. Notice that the highlights consist of overlapping circles with soft edges. This is a much-sought after quality, as it adds to the "pleasing quality" of good bokeh.

    For the second picture, on the other hand, the background is blurred, but there's a "gritty" quality to the blurness that makes it unpleasant. I find this quite characteristic of the Sigma 20mm f1.8 lens, which was used to take this picture.

    Here's another example of what *I* consider pleasing bokeh:


  4. #44

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    SS,
    Are you applying any additional processing to your shots?

    Your first shot is a torture test for bokeh as it contains numerous spherical highlights in the background. However, though it is reasonably creamy, it still isn't quite uniformly smooth as some other shots I've seen. In fact, it still poses quite a distraction within the composition. Moreover, there seems to be weird magenta shift on highlights that may be cause by either CA or birefringence. All in, quite distracting despite the longer focal length and shallow DOF.

    The 2nd shot, though having supposedly inferior bokeh, isn't exactly a fair test as the depth of field is deeper. Moreover, the bokeh doesn't exactly detract from the picture, in fact, it doesn't call attention to itself unlike in the first pic.

    Your 3rd pic shows a better rendition.

    Btw, what's ur jpeg level? Might be a contributing factor.
    Last edited by Zerstorer; 15th June 2004 at 11:04 AM.

  5. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2100
    Hey bro, I am all ears for learning man, so no worries. Hmm...i know what you mean. I know in theory you wanna lead the attention towards the subject. In this case i only used 2 layers, model in foreground sharp, background blur. Can i ask you something? Do you find the subject (first pic) to be too obviously/artificially lit and stand out too much?
    Thinking more about it, maybe i could have used the walkway length of Marina Promenade with trees and path and all to give a bokeh like your 2nd pic.

    Alright, say i really would want to take a sort of skyline or shilouette of the buildings with the model in foreground. How would you approach it? Perhaps sharper at f8, 50mm? I find the sea's deep blue contrast, reflections off the boats and buildings great at that time of the day (6.30pm).
    Hi bro, I think both of your pics are ok to me, except for the dark background in the 1st shot and the tilted horizon in the 2nd shot I agree that it would be nicer if you could make use of "the walkway length of Marina Promenade with trees and path". This is what I found recently how to make a portrait more interesting by interacting with the background.

    On the other hand, selecting 50mm for your 2nd shot may not be a good idea. I'd prefer to using a WA or even fisheye to open up the space behind. Meanwhile, the bokeh in your 2nd shot doesn't help coz it looks like a typical "I-am-here" pose so that most people would rather like all sharp.

    For your last question, I think a WA would be better.

  6. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zerstorer
    SS,
    Are you applying any additional processing to your shots?

    Your first shot is a torture test for bokeh as it contains numerous spherical highlights in the background. However, though it is reasonably creamy, it still isn't quite uniformly smooth as some other shots I've seen. In fact, it still poses quite a distraction within the composition. Moreover, there seems to be weird magenta shift on highlights that may be cause by either CA or birefringence. All in, quite distracting despite the longer focal length and shallow DOF.

    The 2nd shot, though having supposedly inferior bokeh, isn't exactly a fair test as the depth of field is deeper. Moreover, the bokeh doesn't exactly detract from the picture, in fact, it doesn't call attention to itself unlike in the first pic.

    Your 3rd pic shows a better rendition.

    Btw, what's ur jpeg level? Might be a contributing factor.
    I think SS was trying to give an example. His first pic has nice bokeh to me, though the spotlights reduced the effect. The rest two I agreed with u. But... heck, I remember his 2nd shot was in b/w before. The color version looks ordinary, hehe.

  7. #47

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    Quote Originally Posted by tomshen
    I agree that it would be nicer if you could make use of "the walkway length of Marina Promenade with trees and path". This is what I found recently how to make a portrait more interesting by interacting with the background.


    For your last question, I think a WA would be better.
    Yea, that's a real good tip on the gradual diminishing of focus, will keep that in mind and put into practise next time.

    Thanks for the tips on WA too. I got 28-75 and even 12-24, bummer...forgot to use. Also due to time lar, 6.30-7pm the light drops fast and i was really gan cheong to work fast.

  8. #48

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    Thanks to everyone for chipping in. This has been an enlightening thread.

  9. #49
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    Thanks Tom and STShooter for the instructive illustrations.

  10. #50

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    Dude lookingat your picture I do not think the fault is in the bloka. There are deep real fundamental compostional issues.

    If the 50mm 1.8 was a nikon unit, then you need to know that this lens has a some what bad rending of out of focus elements - it does bloka badly. It seems a little too contrasty and gritty for most people's taste.

    Bloka is more than just lens design, its subject, its lighting on subject and background, it colors in background, its also shooting distance between camera and subject and camera and background. Its also film and filters. But if your composition fails even the best bloka cannot save it.

    If the customers dislikes it - they normally do have point. There is a fine differnece from what you see in your mind to what you capture, most of time photographers miss that difference for their own pictures.

  11. #51

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    Definition from Wiki: In photography, Bokeh is a Japanese word ( ボケ 模 )- the transliteration of a Japanese word for "blur" - describing the subjective aesthetic quality of out-of-focus areas of an image projected by a camera lens. For example, in some images the background may be deliberately caused to be out-of-focus to reduce distractions and to emphasize the primary subject.

    Not so good bokeh... the circles caused by lights coming from in between the leaves



    smooth clean background... thus good bokeh

    Last edited by oeyvind; 15th June 2004 at 05:07 PM.

  12. #52

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    The problem is that the definition of good bokeh essentially includes a subjective element - what is pleasing to the eye of the beholder.

    In the 2 examples above, I personally think that the first one exhibits more pleasing bokeh than the second, because the highlights with soft-edged overlapping circles are more pleasing to me than just a plain smooth background (which you can get with a blank wall). Obviously what pleases me more pleases oeyvind less (although I must say the bird itself is slightly overexposed - he he).

    So there you go. There's no accounting for taste.

  13. #53

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    Quote Originally Posted by StreetShooter
    The problem is that the definition of good bokeh essentially includes a subjective element - what is pleasing to the eye of the beholder.

    So there you go. There's no accounting for taste.
    Actually, i like both of the 2 bokehs. Have no problem with both even though I am no pro in this area. Yea, it's a taste thingy.

  14. #54

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    Quote Originally Posted by StreetShooter
    The problem is that the definition of good bokeh essentially includes a subjective element - what is pleasing to the eye of the beholder.

    In the 2 examples above, I personally think that the first one exhibits more pleasing bokeh than the second, because the highlights with soft-edged overlapping circles are more pleasing to me than just a plain smooth background (which you can get with a blank wall). Obviously what pleases me more pleases oeyvind less (although I must say the bird itself is slightly overexposed - he he).

    So there you go. There's no accounting for taste.
    hmmm... not sure where is overexposed? Guess the Adobe RGB to sRGB conversion might have shift something.



    Anyway, here's bad bokeh (cause by the same reason) at least to me!


  15. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2100
    Actually, i like both of the 2 bokehs. Have no problem with both even though I am no pro in this area. Yea, it's a taste thingy.

    I concur...

  16. #56
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    Good examples oeyvind! The first one(bird) bokeh's really harsh, while the second's(boy) silky smooth.
    Last edited by justarius; 16th June 2004 at 12:55 AM. Reason: clearing up stuff which was previously misleading

  17. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by justarius
    Good examples oeyvind! The first one bokeh's really harsh, while the second's silky smooth.
    Nice example of how diff angle of views can affect the background. The 85mm offers a narrower angle of view and hence less of the window is seen, leading to less stray light from the leaves. This is evident in that the 85mm wasn't wide enough to include the curtains. The differing angle of views offers alternatative blurred backgrounds.

  18. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zplus
    Nice example of how diff angle of views can affect the background. The 85mm offers a narrower angle of view and hence less of the window is seen, leading to less stray light from the leaves. This is evident in that the 85mm wasn't wide enough to include the curtains. The differing angle of views offers alternatative blurred backgrounds.
    eh sorry if I wasn't clear before, but I was referring to the initial pictures (heron/egret/bird? and boy)

    For the second series of pictures (penguin), I'm not sure if I'm seeing things and speaking through my arse, but the second one's bokeh wins out only marginally by being more circular (for the first one, the circles of light aren't a perfect circle and slightly octagonal?) and slightly less harsh (looking at the edges).

  19. #59

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zplus
    Nice example of how diff angle of views can affect the background. The 85mm offers a narrower angle of view and hence less of the window is seen, leading to less stray light from the leaves. This is evident in that the 85mm wasn't wide enough to include the curtains. The differing angle of views offers alternatative blurred backgrounds.
    Actually if you can see 85mm pix shows more of the window than 50mm ones. Both are bad bokeh to me, but I wanna illustrate also that 85mm f/1.8 has better bokeh than 50mm f/1.4.

  20. #60
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    Note that in the 50 vs 85 example, the 50 is stopped down while the 85 is wide open. Wide open shots usually have better bokeh because the blades do not come into the picture and the aperture is perfectly round.

    Nice side by side example of two types of bokeh, Tim.

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