April 17, 2018

BOKEH

I think we've all heard the phrase, "Art imitates life." Truly, that's what I always thought it was. I wanted to begin this post by stating the fact that I love it when that happens. But, then, I got somewhat curious. This saying, being as familiar as it is, must be attributed to SOMEone, eh?

So, I did a little digging, only to find that the true quote comes from an 1889 essay entitled The Decay of Lying, written by Oscar Wilde. But . . . that is NOT how it really goes. The quote in its entirety reads as follows:


Life imitates art far more than art imitates life.

Huh. Now, that puts a completely different spin on everything, doesn't it? Or does it? 

With that said, and all cleared up, and without getting too philosophical, I will proceed as I'd intended.

I love when art imitates life. Um. Uh huh.


What I am referring to is something that has gained in popularity in recent years, a photographic technique, called bokeh. As a photographer, when utilizing this technique, it becomes more of the way Oscar Wilde wants us to see art versus life, in that through the use of shallow depth of field, a photographer is able to tweak life in such a way as to make it appear more "artistic". 

You can find HERE a truly fascinating article, as well as examples of photographic bokeh, on what exactly bokeh is. I have heard the term pronounced many different ways, two of the most popular being BO-KAY, and BO-KAH, both with the accents on the first syllables.


One of the most common types of bokeh shows varying sizes and intensities, sometimes colors, of circles in the background of a photograph that possesses a clearly in focus subject. Look at the article I mentioned to see some good examples.


Frequently in the papercrafting world, especially that of cardmaking, we will encounter a piece using this technique -- only instead of using a camera's lens to obtain the effect, papercrafters oftentimes use ink and circle-shaped stamps.

I've tried a few of the tutorials that are out there to achieve the bokeh effect, never with satisfying results, however.

That is, until I was preparing a new stamp set for use. Two of the stamps in the set, which happened to be red rubber stamps, were of circular frames where the design only went around the circle's circumference. As everyone knows, if you have excess rubber where you don't want ink, what will happen? Yes, you will get ink there. So, Stampin' Up! very considerately diecut the inner portions of these circles, which I guess were meant to be thrown away. Huh? What!! No way.

I saved those two little orphan circles, added a smaller circle stamp from many years ago, and now I had my very own bokeh set. 

And, the photos show my results. Not perfect. But, nice. 

I used Whisper White ink, starting full strength, then stamping again without reinking in a different spot. I did this with all three sizes of the solid circles, overlapping here and there. The effect was, to me, quite enchanting. 


Not quite sure what to do with my bokeh background, I finally decided to highlight as much of it as possible. So I die cut a few nature pieces from vellum and placed them within my scene. I added a couple layers of cardstock, one metallic, one regular, as mats for my happy nature piece.


Are you aware that the beautiful butterfly (Butterflies Thinlits, page 215) is RETIRING??? I am devastated! What are some of the retiring products that you are really really going to miss the most?


Now, does art imitate life or life imitate art?

Bokeh
Smiles.

18 comments:

  1. So very beautiful! Thanks for sharing on To Grandma's House We Go!

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  2. Very interesting, Linda. You know, I spent two and a half years studying photography in a program that at the time was one of the best in the country and I never heard the word bokeh! I, of course learned what depth of field was and how to use it, but the effects of shallow depth of field were never called bokeh. Isn't that weird? But, now I know what "bokeh" is, thanks to you!

    I like the piece you did with the stamps and the butterfly. I especially like that you only used white. Thanks so much for the info! A great post.

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    1. Thank you, Naomi, for your input. I have a Fine Arts Degree with a Photography Emphasis. The professor never ever referred to this technique as bokeh either. Interesting, eh? But, then, that was way back in the time of film photography. (I graduated in 1997.) I am so glad that you enjoyed my post and were able to glean some new knowledge from it. Thanks!

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  3. I love the effect you got! It's very attractive. Thanks for linking up with us at Creatively Crafty #ccbg :)

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    1. Thank you, Lydia! I'm so glad you like it.

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  4. gorgeous! I love it when I can get bokeh in my photographs--it looks so cool! Shared on Facebook.

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    1. Thanks, Laura! It is really such a cool effect, both in real photography and faux bokeh.

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  5. Your card looks great and thank you for suggesting Bokeh I did not know it yet.

    Have a nice Monday the Nähbegeisterte :)

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    1. Why, thank you! I'm glad I was the one to introduce you to the bokeh technique!

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  6. How lovely this looks- As a librarian, love how you think like a researcher to dig into the words, quote and information for us- so interesting! Thanks so much for bringing this to Friday Frenzy!

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    1. Thank you! You honor me! When I was in college, research was one of my favorite things to do -- just dig a little deeper than the surface to help myself and others understand. I'm so glad you appreciated that!

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  7. Beautiful card! Thank you for sharing on Merry Monday! Hope to see ya next week!
    Kim

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  8. This is way more than nice Linda, it's beautiful! Thank you for sharing with us this week at Celebrate Your Story, and I hope your week is going great.

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    1. Aw, Sandra Lee, YOU'RE way more than nice! Thank you!

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  9. Lovely card, from a fellow paper lover.

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    1. Thank you, Jeanne! I love finding fellow paper lovers!

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