Boston Harbor boat chain

Boat seen through a chain in Boston Harbor

Roving UHub photographer Caroline D. spotted some boats through a spyhole, well, a link in a chain, on Lewis Wharf this morning.

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Comments

Not composite

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Nope. I was there when she took the photo. Not a composite at all.

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Voting closed 10

I approve

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I, F. Stop Fitzgerald, approve of this shot.

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Voting closed 4

portrait mode

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I took it while playing around with portrait mode on my iPhone. Not photoshopped.

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Voting closed 11

This could be possible

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It's amazing what the cell phones do with software. Fireworks on cellphones almost always look better.

Not a knock on the image - very cool. But you couldn't do this with a normal camera because you couldn't get the boats fully focused and the surrounds out of focus - everything on the same plane would be equally in focus (or out of focus). That's why people are claiming photoshopped (effectively it was - lots of software at work here)

But as a special effect - neat feature. And cool execution on the photo.

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Voting closed 7

Nope

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There are filters where you can specify what goes into sharp focus and what gets blurred out.

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Voting closed 4

iPhone and other cameras, in

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iPhone and other cameras, in an effort to simulate a shallow depth of field, will automatically blur anything outside of what it decides is the main subject under certain settings. This is the result of that feature getting confused by something torus-shaped.

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Voting closed 16

Not real bokeh here....

...otherwise the boats "inside" the link of the chain would be blurry, just like the background surrounding the link. Just a blur filter at work....

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Voting closed 17

Oy, yes, you are right

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Bokeh is a background thing, like for when you're taking a closeup of a flower or something. So I need to read up on bokeh myself, but, my point about modern cameras being able to do a shot like this stands.

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Voting closed 3

Photo nerd time!

Bokeh comes from Japanese where it just means "blur", but in photography the word was adopted to mean the quality of the out-of-focus blur — that is, not just background but also foreground blur, and not its presence but how it appears. Since a camera lens can only focus at one distance, all photos have bokeh. Different lenses render out of focus areas differently (and foreground blur differently from background). Generally, neutral, smooth blur is more desirable than "busy" blur. Lens design is all about compromise, and often sharper, higher-contrast lenses have *worse* bokeh. (Some amount of uncorrected spherical aberration often leads to nicer bokeh.)

So, with that definition, saying a lens has nice bokeh means that it has the right set of design choices so that out of focus areas are generally nice. Or, saying a photo has nice bokeh means that those characteristics are exhibited in that image.

Of course, what with it being a recently invented word and their being no English Language Police, people also just use it to mean "obvious shallow depth of field", or use it to refer to specular highlights rendered as circles ("bokeh balls").

And of course, when we are talking about modern app-based photography, including multi-lens computational photography, this all gets even more messy. Authentic nice bokeh can't really be simulated except by having a light field and a 3D model of the scene — but the algorithms are getting better and better at faking it

And, when it is done computationally, you can get "impossible" blur like that created by the portrait mode here. The camera is automatically drawing a line around a shape that it guesses is a foreground object. It doesn't have real, sophisticated depth information, so it has no idea that the center of the object is a hole, so does not know that that should also be blurred to simulate shallow depth of field. This came out pretty cool here but can be a problem with the effect for portraits when the subject has hoop earrings or poses in a way which leaves a gap.

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Voting closed 6

If this was taken with

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If this was taken with portrait mode on a smartphone then it is a composite. The smarts in the phone do the photoshopping automatically.

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Interesting

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So it's doing focus stacking? I'm amazed at what the smartphone cameras can do these days.

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Voting closed 2

Love it

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Very cool shot.

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Voting closed 5

Photoshop semantics!

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I love this. Filters have gotten a lot better than the previous two-toned blurred/not-blurred but it's still pretty easy to spot software vs hardware for this effect. Software meaning it was done in Photoshop or by a filter in a phone post-processing. Hardware meaning it was done with a lens and depth of field by varying the focal length and the aperture. I'm partial to the latter …

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Voting closed 3

Raise your hand if you did old school photography in high school

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I slipped in a few years before my high school art program changed to 'digital photography.' I had the good fortune to still be educated in the now-lost art of 35mm film and using an honest-to-God dark room with all-manual SLRs.

Okay, I'm lying, my SLR had a built-in light meter.

But the point is, if you wanted a composite of two depth shallow depth-of-field images like this one, you did it the hard way: two photographs and a card-board cutout mask to expose the photographic paper with. You had to manually dither the cutout over the photopaper to get soft edges.

Good times.

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Voting closed 5

Whatever it is I don't like

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Whatever it is I don't like it if it means somebody somewhere is having a good time!

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Voting closed 4