Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Mmmmm Bokeh!

I'm obsessed with bokeh. For those that don't know, "bokeh" is a term used to describe the out of focus lights within a shot. The word stems from "boke" a japanese word, which translates to mean "blur" or "haze."

You might ask yourself, why would someone be infatuated with things that are out of focus? Maybe not. For me, it just adds that little something extra to your shot. When you see a shot in a film where someone in the foreground is in focus and the out of focus background is scattered with bokeh, I get all warm and fuzzy inside. This is why people pay the big bucks for fast camera lenses. The more the aperture can open up, the better the cameras's performance in lowlight and thus quality of bokeh is increased.


Last Friday, My friend Ben and I hit downtown Santa Cruz at around 11PM to do some lowlight camera tests. I brought my slider and intervalometer along to try and get some interesting images. We started off at the iconic Del Mar Theater, which has an epic marquee that flashes a multitude of green, blue, and red lights. After this, I told Ben I wanted to shoot on a highway overpass. We headed off to 41st Avenue, which goes directly over the freeway. On the way, I used Ben's suction cup car mount with fisheye to get a driving timelapse. We parked in an empty Home Depot parking lot and headed to the overpass. There was virtually no light, so I mostly shot long exposure timelapses. I wish there had been more cars driving, but honestly it was nearing 1AM. We eventually packed up and headed to get a late night meal at the only place open this late in all of SC, the Santa Cruz Diner. I wish I could do this sort of stuff every week!

Here is a short edit of some of the footage I obtained that night.

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