Pine-y Bokeh + Rework

REWORK (flipped horizontally per Chris B., dodged more dark bits):


Critique Style Requested: Standard

The photographer is looking for generalized feedback about the aesthetic and technical qualities of their image.


So, I got some new toys - a couple Lensbaby lenses. Have to keep up with @Chris_Baird :joy:.

Getting the focus right when shooting wide open is challenging. And since shooting wide open makes for the coolest bokeh (which I’m experimenting with), I’ve made lots of crummy pix lately. This is one of the few that has been reasonably successful (I think).

Specific Feedback

Any comments welcome. Aesthetically, what do you think? Too kitschy? I know that this sort of thing can be overdone.

Technical Details

Sony a7r3 with Lensbaby Sweet 50, f/2.5, have no idea on shutter speed or ISO as the lens is fully manual and the EXIF data doesn’t record. Processing layers in PS:
Screenshot 2024-07-04 at 11.51.27 AM

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VERY cool!! I used an older lensbaby awhile ago - maybe I need to upgrade.
This is really very sweet - just enough detail to give a clue what it is. Interesting shapes and lines.
I’d love to see more of these…

Very cool. You are so creative. I love the oval bokeh that looks like it’s exploding outward. The small area in focus is enough to tell what the subject is and the surroundings are wonderfully abstract. Very nicely done.

This is so very cool (like everyone has said) It makes me want to revisit my lensbaby and see what I can create! I love the mystery of the image and yet after some inspection I can identify it. I’m a fan!

Well executed Bonnie! I like the framing and the dynamic energy of the image. The bokeh is super interesting and I do not find it over powering. It actually draws my eye in. Congrats on the new lens. Looks like a lot of fun!

I’d recommend cloning out the dark branch in the upper left near the edge of the frame.


I like the bokeh a lot in this image, Bonnie. When I look at it, I find that my eye doesn’t move past the tree trunk to the right side of the image and the trunk itself doesn’t seem to do much for me. I think, if this were mine, I’d crop to eliminate the trunk and everything to the right and maybe even clone out the more obvious branches so it’s all about the bokeh.

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Thanks @SandyR-B, @Chris_Baird, @HaliJ_Sowle, @Alfredo_Mora, and @Dennis_Plank.

Yah, I know what you’re saying. It was really dark in the original and I worked to lighten it up. I could see a square crop of the left side. I’m not that wedded to this one, though - I see it more as an experiment. I’ll just have to find a skinnier pine tree for the next experiment. :wink:

Holy Cow!! I think this is wonderful!!! Again I get an aura of some sort of liquidity. Maybe something frozen in ice. (Nice thought for hot weather.) The trunk doesn’t bother me at all, as the light explosion is emanating from it, but I’m glad it isn’t any darker. I love the high key and sepia toning.


What if you put the trunk on the left side of the image? Since most of us read left to right, your eye would land on the trunk and then follow the bokeh explosion to the right.

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Thanks @Diane_Miller and @Chris_Baird.

I’m glad the trunk doesn’t bother you, Diane. I’m ok with it.

Chris - that is an excellent suggestion! See the rework.

Interesting, Bonnie. The horizontal flip and dodging some of the darker areas made the trunk a non-issue for me. To my eye, it works much better this way.

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Both work equally for me. I think having it on the right I get pulled into the vortex instead of exploding out of it. Or something like that…?

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I like this rework much better.

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I just love this abstract image: the mystery, the fragility, the shapes and flow. I imagine a colour version with lots of green tones and shades would be awesome as well. i want to keep looking into the image to see new shapes.

Thanks, @Diny_Jones. The bokeh was more pronounced in b&w, so that’s why I went that direction. Here’s a color version for comparison:

The B*W re-work is just about perfect, imo.
The colour version doesn’t move me very much…

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