Bokeh Practice with Tatty

I’ve always loved the look of bokeh in photos but with a  point and shoot it’s not so easy to accomplish.  I’m told it’s possible but it requires a heck of a lot more thought and planning than just “point and shoot”.  Most DSLR’s do this by default, focusing in on the front subject and blurring the background.  A lot of point and shoots attempt to mimick this with a “portrait” setting.  My portrait setting failed miserably at this but it may have been the weird lighting in my house causing issues with the focus target.

There are instructions out there with regards to getting the bokeh look with point and shoots that go into great detail about depth of field (which turns out is the most important aspect of taking these) but most of it was way over my head and I just had to play around.  It resulted in a lot of bad photos but a few keepers as well so I’m pretty happy with this as a lesson.  Still need more practice, of course, but for a first attempt I’m pretty proud.  The key for me was to have a large distance between Tatty Bear and the background (in this case blue Christmas lights) and then have the camera super close to Tatty without zoom.  Basically, I was all up in his face for his photo shoot!

Background perfectly blurry like it should be.  Sadly, so is Tatty:

Tatty and his bright blue nose are in focus but the background is still too focused:

Actually, of the straight out of camera shots, this one is my favorite.  His little paw is clear and focused while the lights are blurred as intended:

So, not getting the effect I desired after having taken hundreds of photographs, I decided to open the editing software and see if I could salvage any of the photos from this practice session.  I’m no expert at editing software either and just played around with what I thought looked neat.

I liked this shot straight out of camera but since it was so dark, I thought I’d play with the colors a bit.  Even though it changes his fur color, I still like the edited shot. Changes via Corel PSP: Brightness 85, Contrast 82

I loved this photo straight out of camera because of his shiny blue nose but decided to play with it anyway.  I didn’t do any lighting/brightness/contrast changed but instead just messed with the depth of field.  Changes via Corel PSP: Depth of Field, inverted with Tatty free form selected, Blur 40, Feather 6, Focus –69

And just because I had the software opened I decided to play with this one as well, messing with both of the adjustments together that I’d used on the earlier photos.  Changes via Corel PSP: Brightness 85, Contrast 82, Depth of Field autofocused and inverted, Blur 20

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