An online book of Common Sense Photography, by Rhett Stuart

What is Bokeh?


Bokeh is pronounced "bo keh". Bokeh comes from a Japanese word meaning "blur". Bokeh means and refers to how the out of focus area in the picture looks. Bokeh is the opposite of Depth of Field. Bokeh refers to all the area that is blurry. Some lenses have much more pleasant Bokeh then others. Having circular or curved shaped aperture blades work better for getting good Bokeh. Having 8 aperture blades instead of 5 creates better Bokeh.

Higher quality lenses usually have better Bokeh then cheaper lenses. Usually we think about having things in focus and ignore the out of focus part of the picture. Considering Bokeh in your photography can create subtle and pleasant backgrounds in photographs.