Bokeh is the term for areas in photographic images that are left out of focus for artistic purposes. Because bokeh can include blurred spots next to focused ones, it is popular for use in clever photography compositions.
To get inspired for bokeh, check out these 10 great Flickr groups:
A group for stunning bokeh pictures that creatively blend bokeh and in-focus subjects like people. Expect to see a lot of creative compositions, such as portraits of couples with bokeh hearts flying around them in different colors.
A group bursting with beautiful natured-themed and macro bokeh photography. Look for “waterfalls” made of bokeh light motes, and scattered motes from dew around single blades of grass.
A group dedicated solely to portraits of people that contain bokeh. There are some really black and white photography techniques here for portraits, and beautifully-utilized bokeh to frame and emphasize the subjects.
A group just for light mote bokeh – no soft-focus spots in an image here. Christmas lights, streetlights and lights across the water seem to be favorite subjects here; check out paw print shaped bokeh motes, bokeh made from suspension bridge lights, and bokeh of the Eiffel tower!
A group that emphasizes the artistic, almost watercolor quality of color soft-focus bokeh. Features over 41,000 images such as painting-like bokeh portraits and the sun making its own bokeh motes on the water.
A group for only the most exceptional bokeh work. Look for truly beautiful, atmospheric bokehs made from inanimate objects such as strings of reflective beads and dead leaves.
As the title says, this group is entirely photos featuring birds and bokeh. Most of them are wild birds, and feature the soft-focus bokeh style rather than the light mote one. Sharp focus and soft work in gorgeous tandem to bring you fantastic bird photos with soft bokeh blurs often framing them. The bokeh can be a natural setting, such a flower behind a hummingbird, but there are also shots of birds flying in front of things like flags and street lights.
Beautiful bokeh images showing unique subjects such as deer, bike seats and racks of sunglasses. Check out the bokeh motes in the shape of a smily face.
Over 61,000 stunning bokeh images. With bokeh of everything from clam shells to swing seats, there’s got to be something in here to inspire you.
One of the biggest bokeh groups on all of Flickr, this group is jam-packed with nothing but nearly 100,000 bokeh images! Watch for all interpretations of bokeh – as soft-focus areas in general, as light motes, and even as motes made of negative space between objects.
There’s a lot that you can do with bokeh if you think outside the box. Now, go make some bokeh of your own, and maybe your work will be the next post in one of these bokeh groups to inspire someone else.
Sonia Mansfield is the content editor for PsPrint and editor of PsPrint Design Blog. She likes to write, do yoga and make nerdy “Star Wars” and “Simpsons” references. PsPrint is an online commercial printing company specializing in brochure printing.