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Dream Beach

By Lakkou  
I tried to make bokeh on the beach

Tags: Beach Landscape and travel

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dark_lord Plus
18 2.9k 810 England
18 Sep 2017 9:43PM
Welcome to the site Akram, and to the Critique Gallery.

What you've done here is to make use of a technique called 'differential focus', and you've used a wide aperture to do this which is the way to do it. Bokeh is a Japanese term relating to the aesthetic quality of the out of focus areas which is dependent on lens quality. It's a term that is very much mis-used.

The effect can be very appealing and I like what you've tried to do here.

Where the image doesn't work is that the object in the background merges into the foreground subject - they occupy the same part of the frame. You need some separation between them for your effect to work well. All that means is adjusting your shooting position by moving no more than say 50 cm one way or another.

It's good to see you've used a +1 exposure compensation setting as it's a very light toned scene - most people don't and end up with an underexposed image. However, my preference would be to see this a little less bright.

Oh, and keep the horizon stright as water is always level.
Unless you want some dramatic effect ut I don't think tjhat'd be appropriate here. It is tricky with a wideangle lens as it's easy to get an unwanted tilt, though small errors are easily fixed in post processing.
banehawi Plus
17 2.7k 4307 Canada
18 Sep 2017 10:03PM
Welcome from me also.

I see youve uploaded a number of images today. This one is marked for Critique; the others, when uploaded have not had the Enable Votes box checked (and the selection saved for future) so you will not receive votes on them. Voting is actually disabled by default, which seems odd, doesnt it?

So for this one, similar comments to Keith. I also uploaded a mod; click the Modifications blue button under your image to see it, and any other mods (modifications)

I made the image level using the sea as a guide.

I will say that this is not an example of Bokeh. It is a good example of a shallow depth of field though. That area behind the stones looks interesting, and I think perhaps having something behind that less interesting can be a good idea.

Most people, when thinking of Bokeh are referring to an area behind a subject that has bright spots, or specular highlights; the size, shape and overall "quality" of these spots, or circles are very dependent on the lens, and the number of blades in the aperture.

Try a shot in the evening when you can find something like light, or street light behind a subject, - not too close; focus on the subject with the aperture wide open, and you will see what you lens can do. The best results are obtained from the lenses with very large apertures larger even than f/2.8.

I like the quality of this image, technically well done once the image is level.

I look forward to more uploads.

Heres a link to some nice Bokeh examples: EXAMPLES, BOKEH


Lakkou 4 Tunisia
18 Sep 2017 10:04PM
Thank you Dark_lord for your invaluable review, this allowed me to consider other aspects when taking pictures and to be careful to not neglect the basics.

Thank you again
Lakkou 4 Tunisia
18 Sep 2017 10:07PM
Thank you Willie I'll follow your recommandation
Merlin_k Plus
13 39 13 United States
18 Sep 2017 10:22PM
I think you have done a fantastic job with the stones. Lovely crisp image. I love the colour and texture. But the hammock is just a distraction. Take that shot with a background of clear sea and no interference then it would be great. The use of shallow depth of field is executed well but on the wrong subject matter.
Lakkou 4 Tunisia
18 Sep 2017 10:42PM
Thank you Merlin_k, I took the stones with me, I'll try to make a shot with a background of clear sea
mrswoolybill Plus
15 3.2k 2518 United Kingdom
19 Sep 2017 8:48AM
A warm welcome from me too.

I love what you saw and attempted here, it's right up my street. Or on my beach... You sought out intimate character, mystery, in a much bigger scene.

First off, my understanding is that bokeh is simply the Japanese word for blur. It is used in various different ways in our descriptions of photographic effects. Very often the effect that we immediately think of, soft white blobs of light in the background, happens when light filters through out-of-focus foliage or is reflected from small out-of-focus shiny details in the background, such as raindrops.

That's not really happening here, it's simply a case of differential focus as described by Keith dark_lord. Large aperture (low F number) gives shallow depth of field, you focus on a subject that is close to the camera and the background will be totally blurred.

That's the technique. The effect is difficult to manage aesthetically when you have one subject overlaying another as here - the pebbles sculpture and the hammock (or is it a fishing net?) in the background. I think you have managed that beautifully, the two structures balance each other.

I have uploaded my own modification - three suggestions really. What you can do will depend on the software that you have available.

First of all you composed for the pebbles but that sloping water level is a real distraction, it looks so wrong. To correct for that without losing the top of the hammock/net I added more canvas space at the top and cloned / painted in some sky.

Then I cropped to square, placing the pebbles off-centre. Two reasons - square format gives an intimate, private feel. And placing the subject in the centre of the frame effectively blocks the viewer's access, it says 'Keep out'. Off-centre is more inviting, suggestive.

Then the light. You used a plus exposure compensation which is a good idea here as without it the bright sky would trick the camera into underexposing. But you also have sunlight hitting a bright white pebble, and it loses some sense of substance, weight. This is what I did:

Darkened highlights slightly; used the burn tool set to midtones, just 3% exposure, a large brush, over the pebbles - that strengthens the subtler details in the texture; then I made a Levels adjustment moving the outer sliders inwards to bring back contrast.

As I said, it depends on what software you have but any editing program should allow you to rotate and to adjust light and contrast.

When you set out to create a particular impression in an image it's often a combination of the taking and the making - we use editing software to get to what we actually saw in our mind's eye at the time.
Lakkou 4 Tunisia
19 Sep 2017 10:31AM
Thank you Moira, Very helpfull suggestions. I look at the modification you Made, it's fabulous How photo coule be better after the "making" step, I hope I'll reach your level ont day
dudler Plus
18 1.8k 1928 England
19 Sep 2017 10:57AM
And welcome from me, too!

Other people have said everythign about the picture: you've had a good idea, and it has almsot worked. A second set of pictures and I reckon you will produce soemthign that is entirely lovely.

Above all, keep shooting ,keep trying new things - and learn from every mistake as well as from successes!
mrswoolybill Plus
15 3.2k 2518 United Kingdom
19 Sep 2017 11:01AM
And thank you for your feedback Akram. As John says above, keep practising, and learn from the failures as well as the successes. And let us see some more of your photographs.
dark_lord Plus
18 2.9k 810 England
19 Sep 2017 11:58AM
I'll second what Moira has said.
Lakkou 4 Tunisia
19 Sep 2017 12:56PM
Thank you dudler, and all of you, your critique showed me the way and things I have to improve, I'll keep shooting and I count on you to improve.Blush
TanyaH Plus
19 1.3k 411 United Kingdom
20 Sep 2017 2:02PM
And yet another welcome to the site Smile

I do love this kind of simple, thoughtful composition. It highlights (for me, anyway) a very gentle, almost sacred way of thinking about life and its balance. That you took your own stones shows that you've thought this through very carefully beforehand, with a clear idea in mind of what you want to achieve. That's good, so please don't ever lose that bit!

Getting down low to take this is definitely the way to go, although (as you discovered) that in itself introduces "the background". With the best will in the world, that background won't always be what we want it to be - so you either have to find the best position at the time and really scrutinise your viewfinder before committing to pressing the shutter, or work on your post processing skills to make the background what you want it to be after the event.

And, as beautiful as the limited colour palette in your image is I so want to go down the mono route with this Smile So I've done that in my mod, as well as cropping to a square format (as Moira did) and also moving the pile of stones over to the left hand side a bit, to give that sense of invitation that Moira spoke about. I cloned out the hammock in the background and tried to generally simplify everything, so that the stones are the be all and end all of the image itself.

If you think about what you want to get, how you're going to get it and be prepared to do it numerous times until you achieve it, then the improvement will happen without you noticing Smile

Lakkou 4 Tunisia
20 Sep 2017 9:22PM
Thank you Tanya, your words encourage me to go forward.
I like the mod you made, I'll try to make a shot of only one subjects with minimum of colours (why not black and white), I have to think on it and wait the inspiration

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