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Mattias Burling

Intersting survey about bokeh

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AAAAAAAAGGGHHHHH

 

Amount of BLUR is NOT repeat NOT, BOKEH!      Bokeh refers to the quality, not quantity for want of a better expression.

The Bokeh in that video is actually quite similar (as it should be since the shots are taken with the same lens, just at different stops).

Had he used different lenses giving different bokeh, even at the same f stops it would have been more relevant for what he was saying.

What he was comparing was simply looking at ONE lens, used at different apertures and looking at the subject/background and asking what people liked.

 

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2 hours ago, noone said:

Amount of BLUR is NOT repeat NOT, BOKEH!      Bokeh refers to the quality, not quantity for want of a better expression.

Yes, yes we know. But you know what he means.

2 hours ago, noone said:

What he was comparing was simply looking at ONE lens, used at different apertures and looking at the subject/background and asking what people liked.

No he used more than one lens.

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There are three levels of background blur...

  1. subject in front of in-focus background (less 3D appearance - use this when the background is part of the subject)
  2. subject in front of slightly blurred but still discernible background (natural 3D appearance - use when background is relevant but not the subject)
  3. subject in front of very blurred and obscured background (unnatural appearance - use when background is distracting or competes with the subject or when you want an unnatural aesthetic)

As @Mattias Burling says, very wider apertures are required to get slight background blur on subjects that are further away from the camera, or where the background is close to the subject.

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1 hour ago, Mattias Burling said:

For those that don't have the energy to watch the video the conclusion was basically: people dont like to blurry backgrounds.

There is a massive "sampling " problem here he says his survey participants were "52 average non-photographers"

Tribesmen from Papua New Guinea ,Kazakhstan horsemen ?????his video would have been much more fun if he included some of their interview material.

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3 hours ago, Mattias Burling said:

For those that don't have the energy to watch the video the conclusion was basically: people dont like to blurry backgrounds.

Agreed, though it has very little to do with bokeh in itself.

I love SOME fast lenses and SOME slow ones too.       With the faster ones I like, the bokeh IS a big part of why I like them while other fast lenses have bokeh (and other characteristics) that is to me horrible.

As for needing faster lenses as you get further away from the subject,  another factor is focal length of course.      Even 5.6 or f8 on a FF camera can blur a subject quite a bit with a longer lens.

Fast lenses have their place as do slower ones.

I think with regular subjects (people for instance at normal shooting distances), certain focal lengths work better with particular sensor sizes.      One example is 300 2.8 and FF.     You can have a persons whole head in focus but at the same time have just a bit behind them completely blurred out.       For THAT sort of shot, I would think many would prefer over having more of the background visible to some degree but for other types of shots, JUST having the subject might be less desirable.

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23 hours ago, Mattias Burling said:

For those that don't have the energy to watch the video the conclusion was basically: people dont like to blurry backgrounds.

My impression is that people don't like backgrounds that are unnaturally blurry.

Hold your finger up close to your face and focus on it.  Now, while maintaining focus on your finger, become aware of the items in the location you are in and how much detail you are able to ascertain.  It is normally quite a lot, although if you do this with test charts you will obviously find that the detail is obscured.

Your eyes aren't as large aperture as you might think.  However, in video, you are able to look at the out-of-focus areas directly with your eyes, and so any detail present can be distracting, so it's not a straight aperture conversion.

Basically, the human eye has a relatively small aperture, the translation is a weak one, but the more you push it faster than the human eye the more unnatural it looks.

I completely agree that it's a photographer thing, as photographers have learned to idolise shallow DoF because they are associated with portraiture and expensive lenses, and that it isn't the consumer as much as a photographer lusting after a completely unnatural sea of blur behind a subject in their images.

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I agree, would have been nice if the video was actually about bokeh and not just amount of blur, although that was maybe interesting.

It does show that ppl care more about balance and composition than fast lenses. ie if lots of blur don't add anything to the image, don't use it.

Or use it creatively if you want to put the viewer at unease for some reason.

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One big idea behind blurring the backdrop is to keep the viewers focus on the subject. However sometimes it works against itself. The background blur can draw attention to itself. I see this in a lot of movies these days. Everything is shallow DOF and it looks distracting and unnatural sometimes. If I care about the show or movie I'll be focusing on the subject not a car moving by in the back. 

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4 hours ago, thebrothersthre3 said:

One big idea behind blurring the backdrop is to keep the viewers focus on the subject. However sometimes it works against itself. The background blur can draw attention to itself. I see this in a lot of movies these days. Everything is shallow DOF and it looks distracting and unnatural sometimes. If I care about the show or movie I'll be focusing on the subject not a car moving by in the back. 

I agree, but this seems a necessity of the 5DmkII generation, young people (back then) that learned to shoot with that camera and they needed the slightest focus points possible, just because they could. I still see a lot of people that their videos consist 50-80% (in duration) of out of focus shots.

More experienced or advanced filmakers just use that as a an artistic and expressionistic tool, because they know better..

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Yeah the average joe associates blur as a negative. they want sharp everything in their images. probably victims of point & shoot / phone cameras. 

I remember when showing my first full frame video projects (shot wide open naturally) to non photo/video enthusiasts, they use to say: "why is there so much blur around everything?" and i was like "SMH they don't get it" while connaisseurs would be more like "OMG sweet bo-keh".

But i think we as creators also tend to abuse & rely a bit too much on shallow DoF, Super slo-mo etc..

Going back to S35 or even bigger crop factors like on XT2 (or now EOS R 4K) with greater DoF & no HFR options has got me thinking more about composition, interesting angles etc again. I guess I'd argue limitations spark creativity.. even though I'm still a sucker for shallow DoF & HFR shooting.

 

 

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6 hours ago, thebrothersthre3 said:

One big idea behind blurring the backdrop is to keep the viewers focus on the subject. However sometimes it works against itself. The background blur can draw attention to itself. I see this in a lot of movies these days. Everything is shallow DOF and it looks distracting and unnatural sometimes. If I care about the show or movie I'll be focusing on the subject not a car moving by in the back. 

Yeah, in terms of cinema, DoF have so many uses and not just because it "looks sweet".

Similar to your example, shallow depth of field is a easy trick to make something look more "expensive". i.e no need for set design or mis-en-scène. This also, in my opinion tends to work against itself. When overused in narrative work, it can get so obvious that it looks cheap instead. It also greatly impacts realism in an image.

Nothing is more impressive than when a technique is used for a specific audience reaction, and it works.

But sure, it tends to look pretty too.

 

Sorry for OT, interesting video.

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2 hours ago, Django said:

Yeah the average joe associates blur as a negative. they want sharp everything in their images. probably victims of point & shoot / phone cameras. 

I remember when showing my first full frame video projects (shot wide open naturally) to non photo/video enthusiasts, they use to say: "why is there so much blur around everything?" and i was like "SMH they don't get it" while connaisseurs would be more like "OMG sweet bo-keh".

But i think we as creators also tend to abuse & rely a bit too much on shallow DoF, Super slo-mo etc..

Going back to S35 or even bigger crop factors like on XT2 (or now EOS R 4K) with greater DoF & no HFR options has got me thinking more about composition, interesting angles etc again. I guess I'd argue limitations spark creativity.. even though I'm still a sucker for shallow DoF & HFR shooting.

 

 

This is exactly what I mean, but in the opposite.

You were expecting everyone to admire your very shallow DoF (why?), while now everyone, and their mobile phones, trying to mimic that technique because it seems "more professional". 

I guess (no offense) you are an example of what I described above. You probably started working at, or just after the 5DmkII "revolution".

It is just a tool, and a technique.

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1 hour ago, Kisaha said:

This is exactly what I mean, but in the opposite.

You were expecting everyone to admire your very shallow DoF (why?), while now everyone, and their mobile phones, trying to mimic that technique because it seems "more professional". 

I guess (no offense) you are an example of what I described above. You probably started working at, or just after the 5DmkII "revolution".

It is just a tool, and a technique.

When I started working is irrelevant.

I don’t think I’m alone here who indeed started  experimenting with ultra shallow DoF thanks to the FF DSLR revolution and  access to fast primes for video use.

..or super slo motion with affordable HFR camera options.

Always been aware though that these are obviously just tools, techniques.

Never expected anyone to admire anything either. Just thought it was interesting some people would marvel over bokeh while others just found the footage overly blurry.

Beauty is in beholders eyes. One mans junk.. you know the story.

Anyways my point was that shallow DoF, super slomo etc has become over used and a bit of a crutch. I’m honest enough to admit I’ve been a victim of it myself and tend to try and avoid them in favor of other techniques and working with cameras that don’t offer those specs/features has certainly helped resist that urge..

Which brings me to my other point: chasing camera specs / bashing cameras over specs is a little bit futile in the grand scheme of things. All the latest mirrorless cameras are capable of spectacular results in the right hands.

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