A Bokeh Tiki Torch Vision

A Lil’ Bit of Bokeh Romances the Candle. Polly Nance. Digital photograph. 8 x 10 inches.

As I promised in my previous post, here are some bokeh photographs that I think turned out much better than yesterday’s photographs.  I was a tad nervous about shooting at night because, every other time I’ve tried, my photographs resemble a blurry, uninteresting mess.  However, setting my camera in manual mode for this bokeh experiment helped me learn more about photographing in low-lighting situations.  The final photograph (at the bottom of this post) is an example of an in-focused shot I managed to capture… I think I see improvement in myself!  Yippy Skippy!  I decided to explore bokeh at night because my husband had set up all these tiki torches around our patio to keep the pesky mosquitoes away.  I thought the flames would make for interesting compositions, so I immediately dove right into the process. I tried multiple ways of photographing with a bokeh mind… some images are complete compositions of circularly-shaped blurs, while others include pieces of the composition in focus as well as pieces out of focus.  There are a couple photographs that are complete, bokeh blurs and I find them to be my strongest photographs.  The blurred circles and lighting enhanced the subject’s formal qualities with a romantic glow.  I decided to include one photograph of a tiki torch shot in the daytime because I thought it would add another variation to this experiment, and series, of mine.  I love the abstracted, yet realistic product involved in the bokeh process.  I’m not sure if these photographs will satisfy everybody’s taste, but I hope they will please the bokeh fans.  I read somewhere that professional photographers continuously disagree about which bokeh look is “better”… the clean, complete blurred background with an in-focus subject in the foreground.. or the impressionistic stamps of circles look that  adds interest to the subject.  I happen to enjoy both… but I find the complete, circularly blurred compositions to be stronger… but that is merely my opinion.

Tiki Flames with Bokeh Embers. Polly Nance. Digital photograph. 8 x 10 inches.

A Window to Bokeh’s Soul. Polly Nance. Digital photograph. 8 x 10 inches.

Fire Burning in the Bokeh Daylight. Polly Nance. Digital photograph. 8 x 10 inches.

A Bokeh Asteroid and Its Shoot Star Companion. Polly Nance. Digital photograph. 8 x 10 inches.

A Patriotic Bokeh Flame. Polly Nance. Digital photograph. 8x 10 inches.

A Twinkle in Bokeh’s Night Time. Polly Nance. Digital photograph. 8 x 10 inches.

A Man Ray, Alien Vision in Bokeh and Black. Polly Nance. Digital photograph. 8 x 10 inches.

Opaque Illuminations. Polly Nance. Digital photograph. 8 x 10 inches.

No Trace of Bokeh Enflamed. Polly Nance. Digital photograph. 8 x 10 inches.

 Thank you for taking the time to stop by my blog and read this post!  Please feel free to leave any and all feedback.  I don’t really know what I am doing! But I had fun with it!


20 thoughts on “A Bokeh Tiki Torch Vision

    • Thank you! Evening photography is kind of difficult… but I have found that when the camera is set to manual, I can actually take photographs that turn out clearer… but there has to be some kind of light source or my camera won’t take the picture. You should try it though! You can also create light paintings at night!

  1. I love that you turned flame into art. I’m curious what settings you used on your camera. I want to give this a try, too, though I’m sure mine won’t be nearly as cool-looking. =>

    • Thanks for stopping by my blog! Bokeh is fun and I’ve been dying to try photographing city lights that way… I keep seeing images with city lights in bokeh style and they look incredibly cool. Come back again!

  2. Polly, my favorite is “Flame burning in the daylight.” It’s because of the contrasting colors. There’s the soft green, yellow and ‘brown’ in the background, and then the singularly striking orange in the center. And on top of this great contrast, there’s the extra compositional component of the soft circles seeming to spill from the top of the photo down to the bottom. That’s fantastic! I’ve shot a lot with a 35mm film camera, and I have a telephoto lens that goes between the regular lens and camera, and it draws the subject into focus while creating an impressionistic image out of the background. If you have time and where to open this link and scroll down to a piece called “Illinois Prairie Eyelashes” you’d see a piece where I feel I mastered the technique.


    Keep up the excellent explorations!
    Christopher Shoup
    (the long comment maker, I guess)

  3. Thank you for your long comment, long comment maker! I appreciate it! I checked out your blog… fantastic work! I might have to experiment with that! Thank you so much for stopping by and for leaving me with some inspiration!

  4. Bokeh is an art form which means there are differing views of which outcome is favored by one photographer or another. Your experiment is very interesting and I appreciate your artistic translations.

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