I know, this should be the second in my Intimate WordPress series, but I wasn’t in the mood for that seriousness today. I had so much fun creating the image for last week’s post that I thought I’d share that process with you today.
Brought to You By the Letter B
What is that word in the title, bokeh? Pronounced either boh-kuh or boh-kay, the word is Japanese and is a photography term. It refers to “the aesthetic quality of the blur produced in the out-of-focus parts of an image produced by a lens,” according to Wikipedia. The referenced Wikipedia article contains all the technical details you serious photographers could ever want about how to produce bokeh, what cameras and lenses give the effect. For the rest of us, there are royalty-free bokeh images.
Go to just about any site providing free or paid-for images and type in the word “bokeh.” My favorite site for quick and cheap images is GraphicStock.* A search of the term yielded 2663 results. I’m sure you can find many ways to use bokeh images, but my favorite use is as a background. Download the image and pile your other images on top!
My go-to program for web graphics is Fireworks, but it’s not being updated anymore (thanks, Adobe). Whatever program you use for graphics, import or insert the bokeh you downloaded. If you have a choice of image size, go for the largest size available, so you’ll have the option to reduce it and still maintain quality.
On the left is a thumbnail version of the bokeh background I chose for the image I created above. In reducing the size of the image, I slid the background around until it displayed the way I wanted it to look.
Bokeh comes in a wide range of appearances and colors. Below is a screenshot of just a few on GraphicStock:
Put the Lime in the Coconut
To get the screen capture of the dashboard menu in the image I created above (as well as the GraphicStock image immediately above), I used my favorite clipping program, SnagIt. This TechSmith-originated program allows you to choose which section of the screen you wish to capture and saves it to your clipboard. After saving it as a separate file (in case I want to use it again), I imported on top of the bokeh background.
I wanted some kind of snazzy starburst thing to go on the image, so I created one using the shape tool, then created another and skewed it, changing the color slightly. And voila! A fun little graphic.
You could also use bokeh as a faint background to add a bit of texture. Just scale back the transparency. For more advanced users, create a masking layer for more dramatic effects.
Play around with bokeh! You’ll love its infinite variety as much as I do!
*Note: This is a referral link. If you click it, you can get 83% off a GraphicStock.com subscription. I get $20 for each referral.