[Week 2]a new term for me..BOKEH!

Hi and assalamualaikum wth..

Last week Dr Zaida has explained more about bokeh and aperture.. both are 2 new words to me… however, although she has explained it well..i still can’t differentiate some of the pictures, either it is bokeh or macro…

come on..take a look..

ok..here is obvious..we can see the blurry here..

and now, I am a little bit confuse with the macro effect..*i should read and practice more i guess*


from my coursemate Lee, which she posted in the elearning .. i can understand that Bokeh is a photography technique where the user will purposely defocus the lens slightly in order to create a soft borderless aesthetic in a picture. It is from Japanese world.

Bokeh is very popular among photographers because because Bokeh makes photographs visually appealing, forcing us to focus our attention on a particular area of the image. Basically, bokeh is the quality of out-of-focus or “blurry” parts of the image  rendered by a camera lens – it is NOT the blur itself or the amount of blur in the foreground or the background of a subject. The blur that you are so used to seeing in photography that separates a subject from the background is the result of shallow “depth of field” and is generally simply called “background blur”. The quality and feel of the background/foreground blur and reflected points of light, however, is what photographers call Bokeh.


Depth of field (DOF), refers to the area of an image that is in focus. You have most likely seen images where the main subject is in focus, while the background is out of focus or totally blured. The area that covers the focused area is the DOF (depth of field). Bokeh on the other hand, refers to the appearance of the light that is seen within the blured part of the photograph. Bokeh and DOF are important to consider for photographs when you need the main subject to stand out on its own and not be lost in background distractions.

Isn’t Bokeh and DOF the same thing?

No, bokeh and depth of field is not the same thing, although they do work together.

  • DOF is seen in a photograph where there is an obvious focus area, set against a blured background or foreground.
  • Bokeh on the otherhand, refers to how your camera lens renders the light that is seen within the blured parts of the image. Sometimes this can be soft or harsh circular shapes, or look like hexagons, depending on your lens design and aperture settings.


Here is an example of beautiful bokeh rendered by the Nikon 85mm f/1.4D lens:

A good bokeh pleases our eyes and our perception of the image and therefore, the background blur should appear soft and “creamy”, with smooth round circles of light and no hard edges.

Pay attention to the smooth background behind the child’s face. The out-of-focus areas look creamy and the circles are round and soft with beautiful transitions between the blurry areas. That’s exactly what you would call good bokeh!

What about bad ugly bokeh?

the quality of the blur is not pleasant to the eye, with sharp edges of the circles and double lines.