Monday, September 3, 2012



You know, you would really think that I would be more prepared.... being that I blew off my article last month, thus giving me two full months to prepare something exciting to share with you folks. 

But no, noooooo.... here I sit still indecisive about which direction to go with a photography related post.  I have a zillion ideas.... yet not one wants to lament itself here in blogland. 

So, I'm just going to run with something near and dear to me... right now.   Something that I can't seem to stop myself from photographing.  Bokeh... orbs and orbs of Bokeh. 

Let's start out with the boring stuff.   What is Bokeh? 

This seemed like a pretty good definition to me (taken from HERE.)

The word “bokeh” is a derivative of the Japanese word boke, which means “blur”. In photography this refers to the blurred area of the photograph. Basic bokeh photographs feature an in-focus foreground with a blurred dreamy haze-like background. When coupled with out of focus lights, this blurry background can create an illusion of large orbs.

So, to achieve this effect, you need a blurry background.  Which is actually pretty easy if you set your aperture as WIDE as it will go.  (Which means you want it at the smallest number that your lens can handle.)  Most of my photos are taken with my aperture set at 1.8.   By setting your aperture as wide as it will go, you are creating a shallow depth of field.  Meaning that anything that isn't focused on will be blurry.  BINGO.  We've got blur!

Now, to get those magical orbs, we need need to have lights in the blurred area.  Which doesn't have to mean lights in the electrical sense.  You can find plenty of "lights" out in nature.  Anything that catches light can also create those orbs. 

So, here's what I have been using lately.  When I stumble down my stairs at 7am I notice that (A) the sun is just rising over the houses and (B) our sprinklers have just turned off.  This combination creates the most magnificent sparkly feast-for-the-eyes you ever did see.  And all that lovely sparkle, when blurred out, makes BOKEH ORBS.  So, before I've even had my coffee I find myself out in my yard, camera in hand, shooting away at flowers and grasses. 


The effect just never ceases to amaze me.  It has a magical allure or something... that just pulls me right in! 

Spider webs can make for interesting bokeh filled images.

You can even achieve the effect just playing with a boring old garden hose or a faucet in your kitchen. 
DSC_0560_edited-1 DSC_0546_edited-1

So, to recap..... if you want to get bokeh orbs you need: 
1.  BLUR (Use a wide aperture i.e. low number)
2.  Make sure there "lights" in the blur.  I captured all of these images using water droplets as "lights."
3.  Back lighting also helps to achieve this effect.

I hope that helps! 
I took most of these photos in the past couple days.  But, I have been obsessed with bokeh orbs for a long time.  I even started a flickr set a while back for bokeh photos.  If you want to see more examples, check it out HERE.

Hope you had a great holiday weekend.  
Thanks for reading along -


  1. these are amazing!
    love love love Bokeh!

  2. These are great. Love the first one.

  3. I love these and I love bokeh! Gorgeous!!

  4. gorgeous! love the bokeh so much

  5. Oh my- loving all that yummy bokeh!!!!! So pretty!

  6. Replies
    1. gorgeous...fat fingers don't mik well with my phone :-(

  7. Love every one of these pictures!!


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