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Bokeh photos with a cell phone

Well, not everyone can afford to book a recording studio when producing content. Or have a nice, well-decorated environment. But that’s no excuse for creating boring videos with ugly surroundings.

Another good use of the out-of-focus background is directly inspired by film. Typically, cinematographers use this feature to control exactly what viewers can see.

With blur it is possible to draw the audience’s attention to a specific detail in the scene, while preventing them from seeing the rest. Like a person’s hand manipulating your product, for example.

Although it is possible to emulate blur with the use of some programs (as we will see below), this effect is not a characteristic of the camera but, rather, an optical phenomenon of reflection of light rays.

Thanks to the optical effects we mentioned, the larger this aperture is, the more light will enter and the more out of focus the background of the image will be. When we do that, we are decreasing the depth of field. This means that the distance at which objects will be in focus will be much shorter.

Online bokeh effect

It is therefore not the amount of blur that a lens produces, but what it looks like. For the photography of certain subjects, it is interesting to have the background out of focus to avoid distractions when looking at the picture and thus highlight the subject. While some lenses show out-of-focus objects as circular spots, others show them in other shapes, colors and contrasts. These shapes as soft spots of color that take on the out-of-focus objects is what characterizes the bokeh of a lens.

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Catadioptric lenses, due to their mirror construction, produce a special bokeh by reproducing out-of-focus objects in the form of rings rather than spots. Thin, elongated objects in the background often appear as a double outline.

Bokeh effect at home

We are going to explain what the mobile bokeh effect is and how you can achieve it. It is one of the methods to get a very visual portrait effect with the background out of focus that has become very popular. But bokeh doesn’t really mean that in photography, so we’re going to start by explaining what it really means and how the term is used in mobile photography.

You also need to know that getting a good bokeh is not the same as getting a photo in which there are out-of-focus parts, but having a blur of the image with an attractive look. So, in the professional photographic world, bokeh is not blurring the background but simply taking a photo with a beautiful blur.

However, when it comes to talking about boken in mobile photography this definition has been simplified, and we usually talk about it to refer to what is also known as portrait mode. This means that although in photography bokeh is one thing, when you hear about it in media referring to smartphones they will almost certainly always refer to portrait mode.

Bokeh app

Before we get into explaining how it is achieved, it is essential to understand the concept well because it is something that lends itself to error. And is that we usually assimilate the term “bokeh” with blur and, although indeed the word derives from a Japanese term (ぼけ boke) that translates as well, the concept of bokeh is something that goes beyond the absence of a well-defined focus.

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Being a quality of blur, to achieve it the first thing is, logically, to have a part of the image out of focus, or all of it as in the photo above. Although normally in the images there is always a sharp part and others out of focus. This is controlled by playing with the depth of field, something that is done mainly through the lens diaphragm. In order to have a shallow depth of field and therefore out-of-focus areas, you have to use large apertures when taking the picture (from ƒ2.8 and up to what the lens allows, usually ƒ1.2, ƒ1.4 and ƒ1.8 and ƒ2).

The more we open the diaphragm the more blur we will achieve and, therefore, the more we will notice that the area of the photograph in front of and behind the point where we have focused appears blurred in the image. What happens is that most lenses are not capable of offering these aperture values. In fact, usually only the so-called “bright” lenses, which offer the best quality at a high price, are able to do so. For this same reason, the best defocusing is usually achieved with fixed focal length lenses (i.e. lenses that do not have a zoom), which, due to their simpler construction, are usually brighter.

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