Shoot Happy: Bokeh

The month of October brings so many happy things, pumpkin lattes at Starbucks, fall sunsets ( there’s something about the warmer lighting that’s so magical), and if you live in New Mexico that first whiff of roasted green chili is a sure sign that fall has arrived. But over the past couple of years, October also means participating in a 31 days series hosted by the Nester, click on over to her site to see what all the other 1200 bloggers  also joining in on the joy (or misery) of blogging for 31 days straight about one topic are up to. (Whew, that was a run-on sentence!)

This year, I’ll be talking about shooting happy with the 50mm. Although, I’m starting to question my topic, it’s only the 3rd day into the series and I’m already struggling with blog topics, in fact I’m getting a little bored with it. I may have to resort to posting random shots without any caption, or maybe tweaking the topic a little. Wonder if that’s against the rules of this little bloggy project. I could always change my mind half way through and do 15.5 days of indecisiveness.

But for today, I’ll stick to my chosen topic, and blabber on about how nifty the fifty has proven to be. Today we’ll be talking about bokeh, pronounced BOH-KAY (like the bunch of flowers that hubby brings home when he’s trying to suck up after purchasing more 80’s video games) , meaning the part of a photo that has been purposely blurred to bring focus to a certain area of the shot. According to wiki: Bokeh is the blur,or the aesthetic quality of the blur,in out-of-focus areas of an image.

Here are a couple examples of bokeh I shot while enjoying that warm fall light shining into my living room.


Notice, how my models ear is in focus while the area around the ear is slightly blurred. And in the photo below, the other model has a very focused nose (better for sniffing out rawhides), but the background is blurred.


I should also add, that the use of bokeh is perfect at blurring out a messy background (i.e. the mess that is my living room).



Shoot Happy: Why so Nifty Fifty

As mentioned previously,the month of October will be about shooting happy with the nifty fifty. Over the next month, I’ve made a pledge to myself to shoot more with my trusty 50mm lens. To use more of my vintage manual lenses, and to find joy in simple photography, ya know without all the bells and whistles and new fangled toys. With a few tips and tricks thrown into the mix, and you might see a few projects I’ve completed that will be shot with my sweet fifty. It’s also a chance for me to participate in the Nester’s 31 Days of Change Series, click on over to her site to find out more.

Now, you might be wondering what makes the fifty so nifty, where do I even start? How about with one?

1. Value. The 50mm is relatively inexpensive compared to a lens with more moving parts. You can typically pick up a Canon 50mm EF f1.8 for about $100 brand new. Here’s one I found on Amazon. Now, that’s something to talk about.


2. Natural Angles. This lens is perfect for those situations when you want an angle that is close to what you see with your own eye. Meaning that, the shot you get will look similar to what you see when your looking at your subject without a lens.


3. Low Light No Problem. When shooting in a low light situation, the 50mm is perfect because you can have a wider aperture to let more light in without sacrificing the quality of your shot. Plus, when there is plenty of light you can get a pretty glow-y effect.


There’s so much more to make the fifty so nifty, but those are the top three that keep me shooting happy.