365.348 ugly bokeh, an attempt

Simon Davis-Oakley—one of the curators of the 365 project and community over on G+—created this assignment (sort of) on the G+ 365 Community pages.

The assignment, should we choose to accept, was to shoot a 365 pic with foreground and background bokeh, and it followed a brief question and longer explanation of ‘Bokeh’ that took place over the preceeding days.

I don’t know why, but in pondering what to shoot today, I decided to produce some ugly bokeh.

I pulled out the second Most-Unlikely-To-Produce-Decent-Bokeh lens (the Nikon 36-72 f/3.5 E-Series), and started shooting.

I shot one of these at 36, but as far as ugly bokeh goes, this one (at 72) was better.

Note the line of gumdrops running across the center of the frame. Pleasant bokeh would likely feature a smooth wash of color through here.

Note also, the doughnut (or, in Ken Rockwell’s language, “rolled condom”) bokeh balls, and the colored fringing on the highlights in the background. The fringing is due to a bit of CA this lens produces, and the doughnut is due to this being a consumer-grade walkaround lens from Nikon’s cheapo line.

Despite these, I didn’t get the maddeningly ugly bokeh I was hoping for. Note the rather pleasant soft-focus on the pile of leaves to the left, and the way the foreground bokeh works to push the into the leaves.

So I might have to try again with the Most-Unlikely-To-Produce-Decent-Bokeh lens, the Nikkor 10-24mm…

D7000. Nikon 36-72mm f/3.5 E-Series, at 72mm. ISO100, 1/25th (AP mode), f/3.5, -1EV. About 15 minutes of slider play and brushings in Aperture. (If you think this is ugly, you should see the original…)

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