Backyard Bokeh Fiesta!

Tue, Sep 24, 2013
Nothing to shoot?  Shoot nothing.  We've got this great big loquat tree in our backyard.  From many a bough and branch my wife has hung wind chimes, wind spinners, and other dangling baubles.  With my camera in-hand and my pride out of the way I endeavored to capture their rapturous craft-show beauty through my 50mm/f1.8 prime lens.  This lens is a hoot - wide open it can get a shallow depth of field well beyond any of my other lenses and what's in focus is nice a sharp.  So it's my go-to lens when I'm feeling blurry.

Before proceeding, I want to address the topic of bokeh, though not the concept as much as the word itself.  First of all, if you're not sure what bokeh is Google "define: bokeh";  note the pronunciation.  OK, boh-kay, I have to say, seems dope-ay.  I don't care if it's Japanese or the sacred name of god as revealed to the prophets of old- the prescriptive pronunciation of bokeh sounds too close to the word 'bouquet' which is widely accepted as the most pretentious synonym for "smell".  Instead of the long A sound, I recommend adopting the short, flat E sound as in 'teh' (usage: "Teh correct answer to the question 'how much Sriracha?' is moar.")   So rather than use a term that's readily confused with smug oenophile jargon, go with "bO-kuh" which is readily confused with the Spanish word for 'mouth', Boca (an entirely more amusing misunderstanding).  Language is what language does, and this word must be taken back from the word nazis who've imposed this terrible pronunciation via their elitist dictionaries.

Anyway, here are the photos, bokeh, baubles, HDR, and all.  These were both done with handheld shots using Photomatix's auto-alignment functionality to still the movement from wind and shaky hands.

For this first one I didn't use the reduce ghosting feature in Photomatix, so the bokeh features in the background look frenetic and fun.  I like the quality of the rust in the focus-y part of the image.

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For this next one I did use the reduce ghosting feature of Photomatix, so the bokeh is a lot less jiggly.

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Aside from needing to be cropped, I was pleased with how these came out.  They were fun to tinker with, and I like how I can see my reflection in the blue orb in the second one.