Lately I take the bus or train into downtown Austin whenever the schedule will work for the timeframe of my visit. While the bus doesn't really get me there any faster than traveling by car, it does let me relax and do other things besides getting irritated with long traffic lights, congested traffic, and idiot drivers fiddling with their damned phones while driving. I was coming home from a concert in downtown one night and I started snapping a few photos during the long bus ride back to north Austin.. There weren't many obvious items of interest on the dark and bumpy ride. Purposely shooting with my lens out of focus opened up a different world. I found the images I was capturing to be somewhat calming. If nothing else they helped occupy my time and smooth out the ride a little, at least mentally.
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!