Home button
News button
Opinion button
Student Life Button
Sports button
Feature button
All Headlines button
Clubs Digest page
Sports Roundup button
Letters button
In Print button
Advertising button
fhspress.com Staff button
fhswebsite.info button
Orientation button
Archives button
Contact FHS
Yearbook button
FHS Web Store button
Mustang Stampede logo
Foothill High School logo
Alley Cat's tips to great photography

focus diagram

As you can see on the left, the image is in focus, but the right side is blurry and out of the depth of field. It is important to get your desired subject in focus so be sure to take more than one if neccessary.
Graphic by Alison Watkins, photos by Steve Dommer.

screw it
Follow this column for photography techniques and advice from Alison Watkins.

Chapter 21: Bokeh vs. Blurry

Focus in a photo is everything, whether it’s something in focus or something out of focus. Focusing is as important as the lighting. If your subject isn’t in focus there should be a reason. If there is no reason, then it’s blurry.

The term “out of focus” is referring to the depth of field that the lens is able to capture in focus, depending on the F-stop. When the subject is outside of this area it is out of focus. If the depth of field is “shallow” then the F-stop is low and the aperture (the size of the lens opening) is wide. If the depth of field is “deep” then the F-stop is high and the aperture is small.

Our brains tend to seek out faces in photos and art. Normally we will find it disturbing or wrong if the eye is not in focus; no matter if the face belongs to an animal, bug, or human. This would be blurry, or out of focus. Blurriness is unattractive, unwanted, and usually useless.

When looking at a photo we tend to look for what’s in focus, whether it’s the subject or not. A photo with lots of appealing out-of-focus subjects could be called bokeh (pronounced bō'-ka) Bokeh is a useful technique used for different and very desirable effects. With a shallow depth of field it is easier to get bokeh with things very far way from the camera as well as very close to the camera.

Bokeh is sometimes described as creamy. In order to capture good bokeh you have to have a shallow depth of field. Working with a shallow depth of field and wide aperture is truly a skill to master, and a hard one at that. There are special lenses to achieve special bokeh, most with an extremely low F-stop. Great things to photography with bokeh in mind are flowers, portraits, and lights.

Next week I will be discussing tripods and mounts. Check back at the same Alley Cat time, same Alley Cat channel!


Alley Cat's
Photo Tips


Start shooting
Sunrises and Sunsets
Black and White
Long Exposure
Shoot in RAW
Back Button Focusing
The Challenges of      
      Sports Photography
Studio Photography
FX and DX
Street Photography
Painting with Light
Bokeh vs. Blurry
Tripods and Mounts
File Naming and

-Printing and Resolution

-Paid Gigs
-Gadgets and Gizmos
-Film Photography


| All Headlines | Clubs Digest | Sports Roundup | Letters | Orientation |
| In Print |Archives | Advertising | fhspress Staff | Contact fhspress | Yearbook | FHS Web Store |
| Foothill High School Web Site | Twin Rivers Unified School District |