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Author Topic: Bokeh...is the look getting dated?  (Read 13375 times)

neuroanatomist

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Re: Bokeh...is the look getting dated?
« Reply #15 on: May 31, 2012, 07:51:50 AM »
So, I think you might be right, the average casual point and shoot person has been trained to expect everything to be in focus, and they are uncomfortable to the point of thinking something is defective with a shallow depth of field.

On the flipside of that, that's why many people used to the deep DoF of a P&S think shots from a dSLR and a wide aperture lens are 'professional'.
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Re: Bokeh...is the look getting dated?
« Reply #15 on: May 31, 2012, 07:51:50 AM »

dilbert

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Re: Bokeh...is the look getting dated?
« Reply #16 on: May 31, 2012, 10:04:15 AM »
Many or even most people have a point and shoot camera with a small sensor, and a huge depth of field.  I've bought little used DSLR's from many who just felt that it was out of focus due to the shallow depth of field, they preferred the everything in focus look.
 
So, I think you might be right, the average casual point and shoot person has been trained to expect everything to be in focus, and they are uncomfortable to the point of thinking something is defective with a shallow depth of field.

+1 on this.

There's a similar issue with audio - so many young folks expect good quality audio to sound like MP3s and are uncomfortable when they hear real fidelity that comes from a CD.

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Re: Bokeh...is the look getting dated?
« Reply #17 on: May 31, 2012, 10:36:46 AM »
and even more shocked when they discover good old vinyl sounds better than anything ;)

I've been playing with a Fuji X-Pro 1 a lot over the past couple of weeks and while I don't think it can match the MK3 + 50mm F/1.2, it does have a distinct "look" that feels from another time in certain shots.

Maybe we are going to see more high quality Instagram type processing in-camera in the near future?

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Re: Bokeh...is the look getting dated?
« Reply #18 on: May 31, 2012, 11:05:33 AM »
Good points, these last few comments. For me, I knew I was ready to move up from a p/s to a dslr when I realized I couldn't control aperture the way I wanted to.
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DavidRiesenberg

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Re: Bokeh...is the look getting dated?
« Reply #19 on: May 31, 2012, 11:33:31 AM »
and even more shocked when they discover good old vinyl sounds better than anything ;)
I think it's best to keep that can of worms closed. :)

Quote
Maybe we are going to see more high quality Instagram type processing in-camera in the near future?

I hope not. Instagram, as a collective is the biggest pile of visual crap that has seen the light of day since myspace. While there are many talented individuals who know how utilize it for gorgeous results, 99.9% is pure garbage and we really do not need anymore of it.

dafrank

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Re: Bokeh...is the look getting dated?
« Reply #20 on: May 31, 2012, 11:37:13 AM »
Yes, everything old does become new again, if you hang out long enough. I have already. For instance, I was around at the end of the older era when cars were being shot with tungsten bounce light off giant studio canvas "tabs" or "bounce flats" and coved stage walls. Then, briefly, the in thing for a few years was to replace the tungsten light with that of multiple very powerful studio strobe power supplies, employing many flash heads. Then, the next trend was to shoot them with giant soft boxes in which were placed those same multiple flash heads. Then, the next one was to replace the flash heads inside the boxes with tungsten light fixtures. And finally, the best solution was thought to be to once again to shoot them with tungsten bounce light off giant studio canvas "tabs" or "bounce flats" and coved stage walls. There always have been alternate techniques (as are being employed right now) used at any given time which are different from the general trends described above, but that is a pretty good summary outline of studio car lighting technique, circa 1962 to 2012.

One contrary fact, as for bokeh, taken here as to be shorthand for actually the very narrow depth-of-field look afforded by lenses which are sharp at very large aperture settings (given the focal length and format size), shot at or near the maximum aperture, its use is far from universal; it's mostly employed for things like portraits, weddings, lifestyle, some food shooting and moody environmental images. Even conceding the "bokeh" trend, you might want to keep in mind that in 90% of all hardcore photography of manufactured products, maximum depth of field never went away and is still the presumed method of operation. Again, exceptions abound, but I'm referring to the rule, not the exception. I, myself love to introduce the narrow DOF look in some feature shots, and they're usually well received in those instances, but, as for the "hero" shots of these products, clients don't want to leave very much to the imagination of potential customers as to what their industrial designers have labored over for so long.

So to summarize about the narrow DOF look, yes, this too will come to pass. It's just a matter of time.
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bp

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Re: Bokeh...is the look getting dated?
« Reply #21 on: May 31, 2012, 11:54:34 AM »
So, I think you might be right, the average casual point and shoot person has been trained to expect everything to be in focus, and they are uncomfortable to the point of thinking something is defective with a shallow depth of field.

On the flipside of that, that's why many people used to the deep DoF of a P&S think shots from a dSLR and a wide aperture lens are 'professional'.

^this.   Looking back at the history of photos since WWII, yes - you see a LOT of huge DOF photography.  But those were also times where everyone on the planet didn't have a P-n-S camera in their pocket.  People hire a photographer to capture an image in a way that they can't.  (with the exception being photojournalism, where the qualities of a picture are less important than the content)   These days, almost anyone can capture a shot with huge DOF.  And until they figure out a way to get an f/1.4 lens with amazing IQ on an iPhone, I think that shallow DOF, buttery bokeh look is going to be what continues to give our services a perceived sense of value.
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Re: Bokeh...is the look getting dated?
« Reply #21 on: May 31, 2012, 11:54:34 AM »

dryanparker

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Re: Bokeh...is the look getting dated?
« Reply #22 on: May 31, 2012, 11:54:43 AM »
At least for me, when I'm having a face-to-face conversation with someone, their ears don't fall out of focus. In that sense, the f/1.2 look isn't a naturally-occurring phenomenon. However, it leads to a flattering effect of defining or accentuating the subject of an image — probably because it's not something we can see with our eyes, but rather something the photographer uses to tune our view of the image.

So, it's a creative endeavor. Whether it lasts remains to be seen, but I think the shallow DOF look has as much place in photography as images with great DOF.
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Rocky

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Re: Bokeh...is the look getting dated?
« Reply #23 on: May 31, 2012, 12:17:08 PM »
"Bokeh" actually means the "smoothness" of the out of focus area. It does not mean a partially sharp picture. Nowadays, in odrer to trim the manufacturing cost, some lenses comes with only 5 aperture blades. The out of focus area will look "rough" and the round bright spot will become a 5 point star. That is bad "Bokeh". A lot of old lenses and some newer expensive lenses uses 12 aperture blades (some of the even using curved blades) to get a round aperture even it is stopped down. These lenses will give a very " smooth" out of focus area and a round bright spot will just have a fuzzy edge. The shape is still round. That is good Bokeh. Good "Bokeh" has been around since the dawn of photography. That is why almost all the old lens are of round aperture, even they are stopped down. "Bokeh" is a Japanese word.
« Last Edit: May 31, 2012, 12:35:23 PM by Rocky »

dafrank

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Re: Bokeh...is the look getting dated?
« Reply #24 on: May 31, 2012, 12:48:05 PM »
You are correct about the actual meaning of the word, from its Japanese origins, and what affects it. But, as I have indicated in my previous post, the word has come to represent the very narrow depth-of-field, large aperture shooting technique which is very popular these days. Unfortunately, you cannot stop the changing nature of word meaning in the English language, in which definition is eventually based on common usage.
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Re: Bokeh...is the look getting dated?
« Reply #25 on: May 31, 2012, 02:03:52 PM »
Looking back at the history of photos since WWII, yes - you see a LOT of huge DOF photography.  But those were also times where everyone on the planet didn't have a P-n-S camera in their pocket.  People hire a photographer to capture an image in a way that they can't.  (with the exception being photojournalism, where the qualities of a picture are less important than the content)   These days, almost anyone can capture a shot with huge DOF.  And until they figure out a way to get an f/1.4 lens with amazing IQ on an iPhone, I think that shallow DOF, buttery bokeh look is going to be what continues to give our services a perceived sense of value.

Shallow DOF with nice bokeh is one thing a professional photographer can do that you cannot do with an iPhone or a P&S, but if you are in the business of sell portraits posing and lighting are also big factors.

I started out doing a lot of shallow DOF environmental portraits with natural light.  Now I learned how to use lighting equipment outdoors, and I do some environmental portraits with greater DOF. The shallow DOF portrait draws the viewers eyes to the subject, because the background is out of focus.  If you have a beautiful background that is in focus, the viewers eyes can get drawn to the background. You need to light the subject (over power the sun) and slightly underexpose the background to draw the viewer's eyes to the subject.

If the background is busy or not attractive, go for shallow DOF. If the background is attractive, simple  and elegant looking, slightly underexposing the background can be a better technique.

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Re: Bokeh...is the look getting dated?
« Reply #26 on: May 31, 2012, 02:13:20 PM »
^this.   Looking back at the history of photos since WWII, yes - you see a LOT of huge DOF photography.  But those were also times where everyone on the planet didn't have a P-n-S camera in their pocket.  People hire a photographer to capture an image in a way that they can't.  (with the exception being photojournalism, where the qualities of a picture are less important than the content)   These days, almost anyone can capture a shot with huge DOF.  And until they figure out a way to get an f/1.4 lens with amazing IQ on an iPhone, I think that shallow DOF, buttery bokeh look is going to be what continues to give our services a perceived sense of value.

I and I know a many others are playing with focus-stacking.  Used effectively, its another way to get those impossible to capture shots with a P&S or camera phone.  And totally opposite of the dreamy bokehs.  My other sinful obsession is edge-to-edge sharp wides.
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Re: Bokeh...is the look getting dated?
« Reply #27 on: May 31, 2012, 03:12:43 PM »
Many or even most people have a point and shoot camera with a small sensor, and a huge depth of field.  I've bought little used DSLR's from many who just felt that it was out of focus due to the shallow depth of field, they preferred the everything in focus look.
 
So, I think you might be right, the average casual point and shoot person has been trained to expect everything to be in focus, and they are uncomfortable to the point of thinking something is defective with a shallow depth of field.

+1 on this.

There's a similar issue with audio - so many young folks expect good quality audio to sound like MP3s and are uncomfortable when they hear real fidelity that comes from a CD.

Don't you mean vinyl?   ;)

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Re: Bokeh...is the look getting dated?
« Reply #27 on: May 31, 2012, 03:12:43 PM »

Rocky

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Re: Bokeh...is the look getting dated?
« Reply #28 on: May 31, 2012, 03:34:15 PM »
Vaccum Tube Amplifier vs Discret Transistor amplifier vs Ingrated Circuit Amplifier

Vinyl vs CD

Film camera vs digital camera

Leica vs Ziess

Canon vs Nikon

Cone speakers vs electrostatic speakers vs Magnap[lane speakers

etc.

These are endless agruement for the last half century, or even longer
« Last Edit: May 31, 2012, 04:09:02 PM by Rocky »

Razor2012

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Re: Bokeh...is the look getting dated?
« Reply #29 on: May 31, 2012, 03:40:56 PM »
Many or even most people have a point and shoot camera with a small sensor, and a huge depth of field.  I've bought little used DSLR's from many who just felt that it was out of focus due to the shallow depth of field, they preferred the everything in focus look.
 
So, I think you might be right, the average casual point and shoot person has been trained to expect everything to be in focus, and they are uncomfortable to the point of thinking something is defective with a shallow depth of field.

+1 on this.

There's a similar issue with audio - so many young folks expect good quality audio to sound like MP3s and are uncomfortable when they hear real fidelity that comes from a CD.

Don't you mean vinyl?   ;)

When CD's first came out I thought they sounded like tin cans, no bottom end.  To this day my favourites are the SACD's, to me they sound closest to vinyl.
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Re: Bokeh...is the look getting dated?
« Reply #29 on: May 31, 2012, 03:40:56 PM »