17 February 2017

The foreground bokeh

In an image, bokeh quality is more important to me than sharpness.
While most of the photographic world seems to be stuck on one single way to measure I.Q. (Image Quality) by carefully analyzing resolution of a lens, I go beyond the simple charts and brick walls test-shots.
I look for how a lens renders the areas that are out of focus.

Sunset dragonfly_c
adapted Kodak Telephoto 152mm f4.5   1/125sec

There were a few lenses that reportedly sounded absolute stunners and I was interested in them. Through sample images I found however that they displayed horribly looking (to my eyes) out of focus areas. The whole image was kind of ruined for me: my eyes were drawn away from the main subject that was in focus, there was a certain "nervous" look to the background, the bokeh was not pleasant.
I never got those lenses despite being very sharp...

From the creative point of view a lens must have a certain look, character if you want, for the areas that happened to be not in focus. I often specifically look for subjects where the areas of blurred background will add so much interest to the image to sometimes become the main point of interest.

Floral pattern_c
adapted Meyer-Optik Trioplan 50mm f2.9  1/400sec

In my quest for creating images that are more fantasy than reality I am constantly experimenting with new optics, mostly of them are old and obscure, some never intended to used on a camera
The focus has now shifted to create images with a dual field bokeh, where the intention is to look for subjects that have a busy depth of field, often natural elements.
On my photowalks I look for vegetation that is veiling a subject that is interesting to me and then I try to photograph it. By carefully focusing and shifting my point of view I search for the angle and composition that will create that dreamy surreal look.

Sunset texture in the grass_c
refitted projection lens Will-Wetzlar Maginon 85mm f2.8    1/250sec

Glorious rain_c
refitted projection lens Will-Wetzlar Maginon 85mm f2.8    1/6400sec


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