Week 48: Artistic Bokeh

December 1, 2016 –  Raise your hand if you don’t know what bokeh is? Don’t feel bad. I didn’t until several years ago when I asked my pal (and professional photographer) Shane about a lens I wanted to buy. His response was, “Buy it. Very nice bokeh.” Huh? So I googled the term, and learned bokeh referred to the shallow depth of field. As a self-taught photographer, fancy terms never entered my vocabulary, I simply knew what I liked and went with that, and I’ve always liked a shallow depth of field. Who doesn’t?

What I learned in this challenge is bokeh isn’t ONLY the shallow depth, but rather the quality of the light within that shallow depth.  So there you have it. My simple (and hopefully accurate) description. If I’m inaccurate, please, correct me in the comments below.

Week 48: Artistic Bokeh

A shallow depth of field is often used to isolate the subject.

Create an artistic interpretation using shallow depth of field.

See the green light in the distance in the photo above? That harbor light is the “nice bokeh” part. And below, the lights in the rather boring photo, “nice bokeh”–both shot with my 5DMarkIV and 70-200 F2.8 lens.

Ball Jar

I say the above shot is boring because–while I really like old Ball jars– I set this photo up instead of finding an image naturally. Does that make sense? The Fairlane tail-fin came naturally. I ran across the old Ford while shooting a news segment in Dana Point about killer whales. The car wasn’t in a convenient parking space to get the exact image I wanted–the fin with compressed boats of the harbor in the back.


An inconvenient pole kept me from showing more of the backend of the car, and the shot is so compressed you can’t make out the boats. Had the car been one parking spot over, I would have had the image I wanted, instead, I had to work to find a reasonable angle. There’s challenge in making something out of what you’re given rather than staging something. Maybe it’s my news background, where staging is a big NO-NO.

Besides, I’m happier when my image includes a car or motorcycle.

Another Random Encounter

Over on my Motor Dolls Blog, I posted about a random encounter on the highway a few weeks ago. Well… it happened again.

While setting up a live shot in the parking lot with the Fairlane, a guy walked up, and stood waiting for me to finish a call. He said, “Take your time, Lori.

Uh oh. He knew my name. I absolutely recognized the face, but couldn’t place him. I racked my brain. Who was he? I meet new people every day at work, see so many faces through the viewfinder, it’s hard to put names and faces together. The second he took his sunglasses off, though, I broke out in a smile. My high school friend Jarrod. Just like the incident with Kelly on the highway, I hadn’t seen Jarrod since high school–actually, junior year, since he was a year ahead. Truly great to see him again. Plus, I mean, come on! He’s wearing a Batman shirt! We all love Batman!

Sadly, we were both working, so couldn’t chat long. Hopefully we’ll have another random encounter again soon.

Glorious Skies

My reporter and I finished our 4p live hit on the whales, but I wasn’t ready to leave the harbor. The Dana Point evening was far too beautiful. Instead of hopping on the highway, I walked around the harbor and made a few more pictures. Figured I’d share them here.




This last one came at a price.

Dog poop. Yep. Stepped in a big pile while getting the shot. Not on purpose, mind you. And let me tell you… getting poo out of lug soles is not easy.

So on that most pleasant note, and until next week’s Portrait Dance…

Later Gators!


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