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Again, with the bokeh!


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#1 Paul Bruening

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Posted 31 January 2009 - 07:11 PM

Tried it once:

http://www.cinematog...showtopic=35231

Wanna' try it again. We don't pay enough attention to bokeh (Max, being the exception). But, it is on the screen a whole lot of the time. I'm referring to this description of bokeh:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bokeh

and not the lesser phenomena of visible aperture patterns in bright spots. What I want to do is ask the members to think of bokeh as if it were, now, the single most important thing in movies. What, then, would you do to use bokeh creatively or to innovate the presence of bokeh into an artform? Even, make it into the central subject of movies?
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#2 Daniel Porto

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Posted 02 February 2009 - 02:41 AM

Tried it once:

http://www.cinematog...showtopic=35231

Wanna' try it again. We don't pay enough attention to bokeh (Max, being the exception). But, it is on the screen a whole lot of the time. I'm referring to this description of bokeh:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bokeh

and not the lesser phenomena of visible aperture patterns in bright spots. What I want to do is ask the members to think of bokeh as if it were, now, the single most important thing in movies. What, then, would you do to use bokeh creatively or to innovate the presence of bokeh into an artform? Even, make it into the central subject of movies?


Perhaps the amount of attention paid in the forums correlates to how much it really matters???
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#3 Paul Bruening

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Posted 02 February 2009 - 01:48 PM

Sorry. I can't accept your proposal that it doesn't matter. Something that controls that much screen real estate that much of the time matters.

If I stood up in front of a class of art students in a paint class, they'd have ideas immediately and come back in a week with some amazing innovations on canvas. Why can't we? Are we just a bunch of button pushing monkeys or are we artists also?

Come on, fellas.
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#4 Daniel Smith

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Posted 02 February 2009 - 02:02 PM

Are we just a bunch of button pushing monkeys or are we artists also?


Of course we're not! Just look at me at work.



Posted Image






Oh.. uhh.. damn...



But on a serious note this picture is a good example of 'Bokeh'.

Edited by Daniel Ashley-Smith, 02 February 2009 - 02:07 PM.

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#5 Matthew Buick

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Posted 02 February 2009 - 03:10 PM

That is the ultimate image of steely professionalism! I dare say you'll be fighting away the producers from Working Title now. No?

And again on a serious note this is rather lovely bokeh. It gives enough impresion of the backround without dustracting people from you, so hats off!
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#6 John Brawley

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Posted 02 February 2009 - 04:13 PM

Sorry. I can't accept your proposal that it doesn't matter. Something that controls that much screen real estate that much of the time matters.

If I stood up in front of a class of art students in a paint class, they'd have ideas immediately and come back in a week with some amazing innovations on canvas. Why can't we? Are we just a bunch of button pushing monkeys or are we artists also?

Come on, fellas.



I think the problem is, is that differences are so subtle and so hard to actually pick. I think DP's will tend to lump this quality into the overall lens characteristics, without being able to specifically interrogate the Bokeh. "I Like Cooke's more than Master Primes because...."

I think it's a bit beyond most to then consider using it for a specific tone when most of us can't even articulate what the differences are.

Call me a philistine, but I can sometimes pick lenses by their highlight flares but that's about it. After that, I can't really specifically discern "bokeh" differences that i wouldn't just attribute to the overall look of a lens. (brand or type) Maybe that's the problem. Bokeh is so intertwined with the actual lens itself, that it can't be changed independently of the actual lens. You can only change it by changing the lens *brand*. So you'd have to carry multiple lens kits to start to be able to use it as a differences (like filters)

Personally, I'm more concerned about getting brush strokes that can be delivered via stock, lighting choices. Often, I often won't have a lot of choice in which lenses I get to use anyways, because its's dictated by budget and availability at a given rental house. I don't know many rental houses that stock all lenses and all off the time !

No one, including yourself has mentioned how you'd use it, so how about you kick this off by saying how you would do it. I'd be very interested to know how you'd differentiate it from the overall look of a certain lens *look*.

(Im trying really hard not to think of this as the visual equivalent of green markers on the edge of your CD's)

jb
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#7 Leo Anthony Vale

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Posted 02 February 2009 - 06:02 PM

Of course we're not! Just look at me at work.



Posted Image


That's not a monkey, it's an ape. Orangutan to be more specific.

Monkeys are small and have tails.
Apes are larger and don't have tails.

Orangs are also master locksmiths, so if another ape, could run a camera it would be an orang.

---El Pedante
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#8 XiaoSu Han

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Posted 02 February 2009 - 06:44 PM

http://flickr.com/ph...ima/2458003302/
http://www.flickr.co...57607587153589/

in photography, bokeh always is an essential part of the picture :)
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#9 John Brawley

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Posted 02 February 2009 - 07:01 PM

http://flickr.com/ph...ima/2458003302/
http://www.flickr.co...57607587153589/

in photography, bokeh always is an essential part of the picture :)



Yes but in Cinematography ???

Can you point to some examples in cinematography ?

I think the two shots you illustrate above are great. But hard to apply to motion pictures. For starters, one was with a 4x5 stills camera, the other was an 80mm F2 for a 120 (?) camera. Both mean extreme shallow DOF, and a focal plane that can be moved around. Possible but not easy to do in motion pictures. And i'd argue in the second example with the xmas lights, it doesn't add much to the image, other than being pleasantly out of focus (as would any 80mm f2 on a medium format camera ??)

With regards to the first image, is it possible the distortion was created by using the shift tilt properties of the lens ? (edit. i mean using the edge of lens) Or are you suggesting that this lens in particular creates this swirling effect ? (165mm F2.7 Zeiss Tessar ?) Is it just a function of very shallow DOF and lens *imperfections* that cause these visually pleasing out of focus areas ?

(im not inferring lens distortions and imperfections are undesirable by the way.)

jb
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#10 James Steven Beverly

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Posted 02 February 2009 - 11:34 PM

Paul, I think the problem is bokeh in film production is limited to locations chosen for the practicality of story telling. In still photography or your art class, since the story is told in a single frame that fact gives you a great deal more latitude as to what you can do with bokeh than one would have during film production especially with the art class where the bokeh could literally be anything you want. Even in still photography, the angle, ambient lighting source, opportunity and composition limits your chances of doing anything exceptionally artistic with bokeh. Now if you are filming under completely controlled conditions like in a studio, you could possibly create truly artistic bokeh and that would be something worth exploring but in modern film making, how often does that happen? Most times, you are limited to what is right for the scene to create the illusion of realism now WITHIN that, I could see an attempt to do something "artsy" with the bokeh, but also remember in doing so, you run the risk of drawing the eye from the primary and possibly essential focus of the scene and of losing the reality of the scene by introducing an artificiality created solely for artistic value into the composition.
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#11 James Steven Beverly

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Posted 02 February 2009 - 11:45 PM

That's not a monkey, it's an ape. Orangutan to be more specific.

Monkeys are small and have tails.
Apes are larger and don't have tails.

Orangs are also master locksmiths, so if another ape, could run a camera it would be an orang.

---El Pedante


You're mad because someone insulted the orangutan? :blink: I GUARANTEE you, he won't know the difference because they are usually too busy wiping their butts with they hands then smelling it. BTW, I've locked my keys in the car before and never ONCE did a short orange fur covered ape pull up in a truck and pop the door open with a slim-jim (well except for this one Irish guy named Patrick) :rolleyes:
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#12 Leo Anthony Vale

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Posted 03 February 2009 - 04:35 PM

I've locked my keys in the car before and never ONCE did a short orange fur covered ape pull up in a truck and pop the door open with a slim-jim (well except for this one Irish guy named Patrick) :rolleyes:


I didn't say they could drive. Usually they pick the locks of their zoo cages.

Mad overstates the case.
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#13 Karel Bata

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Posted 04 February 2009 - 05:38 AM

Posted Image
To me that is terrible bokeh! :lol: In that picture it's passable, but you zoom in and it's rubbish. I've noticed there's a common misunderstanding about what the term means, in that many folk seem to think it's just the presence of shallow depth of field. There's even talk of 'hollywood bokeh'! :huh:

Examples in cinematography? I loved what old anamorphic lenses did. And I was knocked out by Bill Butler's use of it on The Rain People. But I'd agree that what we're able to do within the constraints that already exist of getting an image on the screen is limited. Fortunately the lens manufacturers retain a healthy interest. :)

Videographers using dof adapters with stills lenses get a bit more choice, and can pick a lens with bokeh they like, such as these: http://www.kenrockwe...-comparison.htm or http://www.bokeh.de/en/aps-c/sl2.html (but the choice of background in these tests is very limited).

Here's an interesting gadget Posted Image http://www.thebokehfilter.com/ They have a video.
But why would anyone pay for this when you can make one so easily...? And optically better. And wouldn't you want different sizes available? MNeanwhile this...

Posted Image :lol: :lol: :lol:
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#14 XiaoSu Han

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Posted 04 February 2009 - 02:16 PM

i think that it's the lens' characteristics since her whole body is in focus and therefore I dont think it was tilted

I don't really know of any samples from cinematography, but am sure that you can use those as references quite well

check this out, the bokeh is very good in this one: http://www.flickr.co...hima/431952884/

http://www.flickr.co...xax/2139351221/ - bokeh
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#15 Karel Bata

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Posted 05 February 2009 - 05:32 AM

That first one's very nice. And definitely not a video lens. :lol:
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#16 Paul Bruening

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Posted 09 February 2009 - 11:11 AM

Thanks for the links, fellas. I love shapes as bright spot images.

Consider, maybe, a high bokeh of an object that is one thing when in focus but seemingly like a whole other thing when depicted as a blob through bokeh. Could the bokeh'd object stand as a subconscious symbol of another thing, like, Godzilla, maybe?

See what I'm asking? What can be done as a new trick using bokeh? C'mon guys, think!
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#17 Karel Bata

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Posted 11 February 2009 - 07:05 PM

Hard to think of an example. Maybe the bleached out backgrounds in Notorious? Does that count?

Found this today http://www.reiji.net/op-e/ Seems you can now do it in post. :( or this http://www.alienskin...highlights.aspx

Pretty soon there'll nothing left to do on set other than provide a crisp flat image which can later be tweaked to the desired 'look'. :o
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