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Clay Swatzell

Thank you so much for the bokeh podcast. I have been saying similar things for the past couple of years. I called it chasing a Yeti. I often want to scream when I hear people referring to bokeh.


Are we confusing depth of field with bokeh? My understanding is that Bokeh refers to the quality of the
unfocused area in the photograph. Some lenses produce a smooth bokeh, some lenses produce a jarring
bokeh. Lenses that are not fast can produce excellent bokeh while some of the fast 1.2 lenses produce
a jarring bokeh. We need a definition of terms so we can continue this conversation.

Sylvain Duford

Thanks for this podcast. I have been doing photography for 40 years and I too am puzzled by this new obsession with shallow DOF and bokeh. Like you I also downsized to MFT and enjoy photography more than ever and like you, I think that increased DOF is an advantage most of the time. In fact, not only do I enjoy the increased DOF of my MFT system, but I also enjoy its built-in capacity to do focus stacking for even more DOF. Like you, the few times that I need a blurry background, I do it in post-processing where I can precisely control how much of it I want. I've been talking a lot about this subject on my blog, and it is so nice to have a respected veteran like you validate my point of view.


Jesus Christ! What a pathetic whiney post. If I want to hear whining I can go and listen to the social justice warriors. I'm 70 years old. I've been doing photography for 62 of those years. I sorely miss my 8x10 and 4x5 view cameras. And I really appreciate bokeh in the instances where it enhances what I perceive as my photographic goal. As the saying goes, "If you don't have something good to say, don't say anything at all." (I guess I'm contradicting myself, huh? So be it.)


I worked at a pro photo lab (clients where mostly commercial/advertising photographers) in the 90’s. I saw the “selective focus” trend start back then, it was very prevalent. I don’t remember the term “Bokeh” being used, just “selective focus”. Bokeh refers more to the attractiveness (or lack of) of the out of focus area. The appeal of the technique is that it allows the photographer to direct where the viewers eye goes within the frame. It has now become so popular that cell phone makers are putting 2 lenses on cell phones so that app software can automatically detect and select the background and blur it out (This is referred to as “portrait mode”). I remember a fellow photo lab worker saying to me back in the 90’s “How long is this trend/technique going to last for?”

As for “Where does the creative/artistic video making go??” Take a loot at Vimeo! https://vimeo.com/watch

~ Jeff in Providence, RI


How timely, this ad just popped up in my YouTube feed (it might make your head spin a bit) https://youtu.be/IKok5dykRBM

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