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When Bokeh Meets Web Design: Stylishly Out Of Focus Backgrounds

    Jennifer Farley
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    The Bokeh effect is very popular online at the moment, both in photography and as background images in web design. It’s not a new phenomenon. It is reported to have first been popularized in Photo Techniques magazine in 1997. The word bokeh comes from the Japanese word boke which means haze or blur. It’s not just any old blur though, it is specifically out-of-focus blur rather than a blur caused by the camera or the subject moving. Bokeh is often seen as bight blurry polygonal shapes and lights in the foreground and background of photographs. Here’s a couple of examples.

    KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA

    Image by Celia

    bokeh11

    Image by Regular Jane

    Having looked through many websites using bokeh backgrounds, here’s a few that I really liked.

    Nanette Workman

    Nanette

    SebCreation

    sebcreation

    Traffik

    Traffik

    Zeemi Design

    Zeemi

    Sony

    Sony

    Sephora Claus

    SephoraClaus

    Charlie Gentle

    CharlieGentle

    And finally, if you’d like a ready made wordpress theme using a bokeh background, here’s one called Cute Bubbles.

    CuteBubblestheme

    The effect has also proven to be very popular as a background with web designers. Of course you don’t have to take a photograph yourself to create the effect using Photoshop or other image editors, and there are plenty of bokeh images available which are free to download.

    Where to find bokeh backgrounds

    Other Bokeh Design resources

    What do you think about the Bokeh trend? Overused or you can’t get enough of it? Any other good examples that you’d like to share?