Bokeh – (derived from Japanese word “boke”, meaning ‘blur’) – In photography, refers to the creative use of lens blur as a composition technique. The aim of bokeh is to deliberately blur the background or foreground (or both) in order to draw the viewer’s attention to a particular area of the photo. Bokeh is achieved by using a suitable lens with a large aperture setting, which in turn produces a narrow depth-of-field. It should be noted that some lenses tend to be more suited than others for achieving such an effect.
While I was scouring the photography textbooks for the meaning of bokeh and trying to get my camera to display it I ran into all sorts of problems. The main one being I couldn’t seem to get my camera to get bokeh, and all I was getting was bokya (trans. failure). Then late one afternoon I managed a shot of hanging flowers with the sun behind the trees which were behind the hanging flowers, and there it was—bokeh.
This afternoon I was going through my Baguio photos from February this year and there they were—bokeh when I didn’t even know what the word meant at the time!