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Word of the day: 'bokeh', Japanese for fuzzy/blurry, and borrowed in English for the aesthetic quality of out-of-focus areas in photographs and film, most notable when shot with a narrow depth of field.

Flower bokeh - 1

The term appears to be quite recent, so can't be found in classic filmmaking or photography books. But a quick web search reveals this elusive quality to be a hotly debated issue among photography geeks. There is good and bad bokeh, too, dependent on the specific feel of the blur and the shapes that points of light make. One term for an undesired kind of blur is 'nisen bokeh', 'cross-eyed' or 'double-lined' blur.

Not sure how to rate the bokeh of this one...

Flower bokeh - 2

A film that comes to mind making use of bokeh a lot is 'Out of Sight'. See for example this still, from a collection of "fuzzy lights" from different films.

For the optic theory behind this lense behavior, see 'Understanding Bokeh'.


throwing self on heap of hay

One of the founding fathers of modern cinema, Eadweard Muybridge famously introduced motion into photography by pioneering the technique of stop-action photography. (The principle behind his technique is still used , with some computer… Read the full post »

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