When I teach my DSLR classes (at Henry’s School of Imaging) I talk about fast and slow lenses. Fast lenses are those hyper-expensive professional lenses that create a shallow depth of field so important in wedding and portrait photography. By setting the aperture of the lens wide open (f/1.4 or f/1.8) the photographer is looking to get just the subject in focus and blur out the background.
Kit lenses, which are slow (not bad or cheap just slow) open up no more that f/3.5 to f/5.6. At these apertures the lens is unable to produce the blurry background so in demand by portrait and wedding photographers.
Now a company called Alien Skin has created software which mimics the shallow depth of field affect of the $2,000 (and up…way up) lenses so treasured by professionals. This is digital magic and looks great.
For my students, who may never shoot a professionally, it’s great for sports shots of their kids. Using Bokeh they can blur out the distracting background and cause their youngsters to just pop out of the image. This is so cool that I’m betting I’m going to be out $200 pretty soon.