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Day 12 & Lens-Artists PC: Bokeh

Today’s poem and photos go together especially well, since the poem describes the process of achieving my first deliberate bokeh. Still can’t pronounced it though.

I shall describe and show the process first and my poem will follow. Be patient, please.

First I saw our host Sofia’s post. Her photos have lovely blurred backgrounds – which bokeh basically is – but I worried what to do in my post since background is really not something to which I pay much attention. I do have some photos with blurred background and I like them, but this is when my point-and-shoot acted out without my will, like here last April:

But I often notice that my background is not how I’d like it, for example here:

I wish to learn so I asked Sofia for more info since just setting my camera to aperture priority (now that I can since in September I got a proper camera) wasn’t enough for me. Set to A and then what? I decided to go for a walk and test it out.

At first I just kept clicking and randomly rolling that little wheel which I assumed changed the aperture setting, like a child. As you can see, for someone who takes this many photos, I’m rather clueless. These were the first examples:

Clearly I just had to do a gate bokeh. And the moon bokeh. They say the background object has to be far…

Then it dawned on me that I had to do multiple shots of a SINGLE view, but with different apertures. Bingo! As you can see in the two examples below, this worked like a charm.

I’m most impressed with the last photo in each trio because this is the first time I had this kind of result on purpose.

As I check the properties, I see that in the first set the apertures are: f/32, f/14, and f/5.6.

And in the trio below the apertures are: f/36, f/16, and f/8.

The lesson I have learned is that I want the smallest number possible if I wish for my object to really stand out.

Let me invite you to view Leya’s post for this challenge to see how it is done properly. Those mushrooms have all the magic!

And finally, here is what we had to do today poem-wise. I chose the form of triolet which I noticed below in my NaPoWriMo memories from two years ago. I haven’t written another one since.

Prompt 12: “Yesterday, I challenged you to write a poem about a very large thing. Today, I’d like you to invert your inspiration, and write a poem about a very small thing.” 


They say: “Do dots and blur to grab the view.”
Mom says: “Don’t do what you cannot pronounce.”
You worry. It’s not them, it’s you,
they say. Do dots and blur grab the view?
A million blobs out of the blue! 
I’m grateful that I chose to pounce.
They say: Do dots and blur to grab the view.
Mom says: Don’t do what you cannot pronounce.

For Lens-Artists Photo Challenge, hosted by Sofia at Photographias: Bokeh

The last day in my NaPoWriMo history

2018: Haibun, then
And drivers simply pass an inch away from your body with speed intact.
And after the Easter, furnace wood pellets get replaced overnight with barbecue coal no matter what. As if to say:
We’re Italians.
We will have our barbecue.
We want our spring. NOW. (Read all.)
2019: Significantly drab
Precious shirt, dull camera?
Love the drab,
shun the significant.

Frankly, I’d gladly dump both.
No – let me tear up the shirt
and give the camera to the cameraless.

It brought me much joy.
It was a present for my ex.
I’m sly like that.

Ask my mother
how she gifted a doll to her brother.
He was given an hour to play with it. 

Read all

2020: Violent act
What poets do is far from freedom fight
and poetry is such a violent act.
They plot, kill, murder using all their might,
what poets do is far from freedom fight.
We’d think that they do nothing else but write.
But you see wounds and wound yourself, in fact
what poets do is far from freedom fight
and poetry is such a violent act.

(Click for a smile.)
2021: A celebrated country
A time hopper in a tin can
spots an unhuman on a worldlet. 

They found a country.

A time hopper in a tin can
thinks back through her life span
and names it Italia, 
a celebrated country.

In their country for old men,
a time hopper in a tin can
celebrates daily that she met
an unhuman on his worldlet. 

Click for more Tuscany

This day in my blogging history

  • 2014: “Please help understand”. When mother asked an important question: How are these four songs different and why are some considered more normal than others?

  • 2015: No love can survive muteness.

    —Milan Kundera


Published by Manja Maksimovič

A Slovenian in Italy for love. Blogger, photographer, translator and would-be writer who would be a writer if she wrote. Plus reluctant but emerging poet. Beware.

52 thoughts on “Day 12 & Lens-Artists PC: Bokeh

  1. BR

    V tor., 12. apr. 2022 18:18 je oseba An Embarrassment of Riches napisala:

    > Manja Maksimovič posted: ” Today’s poem and photos go together especially > well, since the poem describes the process of achieving my first deliberate > bokeh. Still can’t pronounced it though. I shall describe and show the > process first and my poem will follow. Be patient, please” >

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you for the introduction to bokeh–how fascinating! I love all your photos but can definitely tell the difference in the trio sequences–the third image does indeed have a je ne sais quoi! And cool choice of triolet to match the subject matter–I love the humor.💜🍃

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I am always pressing buttons on my camera by mistake and it takes me days to get back to normal. I have no idea how it works, and no patience to try to figure it out.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Bokeh. It’s a Japanese word, I’m pretty sure. Pronounce it like crochet, Beaujolais, bokeh— there you go, you just needed a little wine to help. I know.
    Your poem is lovely. All.
    And so are your photos. Loved the one with the spider webs. So cool. And the one with the rain drops. Wow. Splendid. Keep going. XoXo

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Your experimentation really paid off! Your trios of shots illustrate perfectly how the wider the aperture (small numbers = wide aperture) the more shallow the depth of field – that is, the range of distances at which objects will appear sharp. To get a blurred bokeh effect you need to have only a small element of your shot in focus so you need a shallow depth of field and therefore a wide aperture. If you want to learn more about WHY your experiments worked, this is an easy guide I found for you:

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you kindly, Sarah. I have saved the link and will study. True, I haven’t done any photography lessons in my life and it shows. 😀 I also thought that my exercise was a success. The third photo in both trios is exactly what I was hoping for.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’ve never done any photography lessons either and I don’t think you need them. You can read about techniques like this (my husband and I subscribed to photography magazine for a few years in the old pre-internet days) but most important is to take photos and study why you like some results more than others, plus do the same with the photos by other people that appeal to you. Why do they work and how was that achieved? Are there any special technique involved or is it a simple case of good composition and timing?

        You obviously have a good eye for what makes an interesting image, it’s clear from all your posts. If you feel you want to work at your photography (and no need to if you don’t want to, it’s fine!), you could do more experimentation, taking several different shots of the same subject as you did with these trials, and picking out the one you like best. And think not just about WHAT you want to photograph but also HOW – what is the best angle, what else should be included or excluded, is there anything distracting from what you want people to focus on ??? etc etc etc. And have fun!!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. These are all great suggestions. I’m doing some of that already, slowly but surely. Not technically speaking though. I never wonder how a certain shot was achieved, for example. I’d never guess that you never had lessons! 😮 Thanks for all the help!

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Feel free to keep asking questions! If you see a shot of mine you like but can’t work out how I achieved it, ask 🙂 If you read something but don’t quite understand it, ask 🙂 And if you want feedback on your own experiments, ask 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Loved your poem. I’ve heard bokeh pronounced so many different ways. 😂 Great job getting the art of macro. Best way to learn is by doing and experimenting. And now you are teaching others through your post. 👍

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Brilliant work, Manja! Never give up, keep trying, that is my own way of learning things. I am so happy to see you persevered – and succeeded! How kind of you to link to my post – thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Such a nice job on bokeh. I am glad you picked a gate for one of the photos. You pulled of the challenge nicely. the blurs brought out both clearly in your images and brilliant color.


  8. Love the photo experiments. Now I know what bokeh is. And so you use a wider aperture to make the foreground object stand out. Love that. It was so nice to see the comparison shots. It’s fun doing it the other way round too where the foreground is blurry but the background is sharp. I’d love to know to the word for that. And of course, I enjoyed your poem 🙂


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