Background Bokeh

Painting with Tubes

I'm intrigued lately by the creative use of blur (bokeh) in photos. I thought I'd continue my thoughts on bokeh and offer another use for it in a photo. This time I'll move the bokeh from being the construct of an abstract photo to a background element that serves to isolate a subject.

We Texans love to photograph our state flower in its brief annual appearance during the spring rains. I wanted to do something different from the usual field of bluebonnets shot. For this one, I didn't have to travel far. This was taken in my neighbor's landscaping!

I decided to do some closeups and I wanted to keep the depth of field shallow since this was just a small patch. I attached an extension tube behind my 70-200mm f4 lens to allow it to focus closer and further limit the depth of field. This allowed me to isolate a single bluebonnet stem and create an abstract background blur with the surrounding plants. The background has kind of a water color painted look that I really like. The point of view also gives a bit of a 3D effect with the blooms in focus rising up from the sea of color.

There you have it - another way to create an artful image with intentional blur!